The taste and variety of fresh pasta you can make at home will make you think twice about serving dry pasta. With only a few ingredients and a little time, you can make ravioli, bow ties, fettuccine and lasagna sheets from scratch. Using a pasta machine such as the Altea Lusso 160 speeds up the process of rolling out and cutting the pasta. With a little practice, you can treat yourself and others to homemade pasta.
Things You'll Need
- 2 cups flour (see Tips)
- 2 eggs
- Mixing spoon
- Extra flour for dusting
- Plastic wrap
- Drying rack
- Clean kitchen towels
Make the Pasta Dough
Mound the flour on your work surface and make a well in the center. Crack the eggs into the well and beat them as you incorporate the flour.
Add a tablespoon of water at a time and continue mixing until the dough comes together.
Knead the dough for at least five minutes, adding a small amount of flour as needed to prevent sticking. You should end up with a ball of dough that is evenly mixed, smooth and not sticky.
Cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow it to rest at room temperature for one hour.
Divide the dough into six pieces. Keep the other pieces covered in plastic while you work so they don't dry out.
Rolling out the Pasta
Attach the base of the Altea Lusso to a sturdy work surface with the clamp. Tighten the clamp until the pasta machine is secure. Insert the crank handle of the machine into the hole near the rollers.
Turn the adjustment knob, called the regulator, to position one. This is puts the rollers into the most open position. The numbers are indicated on the knob and line up with a marker on the machine.
Take one piece of pasta dough and flatten it slightly in your hands. Place the dough so it feeds in between the rollers as you crank the handle. Catch the pasta as it comes out the bottom. Fold the pasta in half and run the dough through the position one setting again. Do this a few times to smooth out the dough.
Change the regulator to position 2 and run the piece of pasta through once. Dust the pasta sheet as needed so it runs through smoothly. Continue changing the regulator and running the pasta through once in each position until your dough is at the desired thickness; position 6 or 7 is thin enough for most pastas.
Hang the sheet of pasta on the drying rack while you repeat steps 1 through 4 with the other pieces of pasta. Allow the pasta to dry for 15 minutes to make it easier to cut.
Cutting the Pasta
Slide the cutting attachment into the slots at the front of the machine. Move the crank handle from the roller hole to the hole on the cutting attachment.
Lay out a clean towel near where you are working.
Cut a sheet of pasta with the knife so the sheet is no longer than 12 inches long. Dust the sheet with flour. Hold the sheet over the cutting rollers and feed it through as you crank the handle. Catch the pasta as it comes out the bottom and lay the cut pasta on the kitchen towel.
Continue cutting the rest of the pasta sheets.
Wipe the machine clean with a towel or brush.
Tips & Warnings
- For a more flavorful pasta use 1 1/2 cups of unbleached white flour and 1/2 cup of semolina flour.
- Don't add too much flour to your dough when kneading or the dough will be too tough to work with. Only add enough to prevent it from sticking to your hands and the work surface.
- You can also cut the pasta by hand with a knife or a pasta bike to make different shapes.
- To cook your pasta, bring a large pot of water with a little salt and olive oil to a boil. Add the pasta and cook it for three to four minutes. Do not overcook the pasta.
- Never wash your pasta machine with water. This removes the oils in the rollers.
- "Lusso 160 Manual," Altea (company)
- Fantes: Imperia pasta machine instructions
- Photo Credit pasta image by ErgÃ¼n Ã--zsoy from Fotolia.com
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