How to use a pasta maker
For four years I was the chef of a restaurant from the farm to the table that mainly served pizza and pasta. It was a lot of work, but every day we made our pasta from scratch. Working with fresh pasta made me understand how much better it is than dry things. Unlike dry pasta (which can boil from 8 to 12 minutes), homemade pasta takes only a few minutes to cook and results in a light and elastic pasta with a consistency that cannot be beaten. When I left the restaurant, I went to a serious pasta retreat; I wasn’t sure how I could have lived without it!
Fortunately, preparing pasta at home is very simple. At the restaurant we used these huge old school Italian pasta extrusion machines that cost thousands of dollars. Those things were quite surprising and could do anything from flat pasta to shapes like rigatoni, corkscrew, and macaroni. While the shapes are quite difficult to make at home, all you need is a hand-cranked pasta machine to make flat pasta like spaghetti, fettuccine, ravioli, and lasagna. You just have to learn how to use one first!
Choose A Pasta Maker
When we tested the pasta producers, the Italian-made Marcato Atlas was by far our favorite. It passed our tests and prepared restaurant quality noodles!
You don’t actually need a pasta maker to make homemade pasta. You could completely roll out the dough with a rolling pin and cut it with an old normal Chef’s knife. Having said that, the hard way isn’t always the best way! Instead, we recommend that you spare yourself the frustration and invest in a pasta maker. Depending on the route you want to travel, they are not that expensive.
How To Use A Pasta Maker
Now that you’ve made your dough, you’re ready to bring out your trusty pasta maker! We will walk through the four simple steps: divide the dough, roll it, roll it, and cut it.
- Divide the dough
- Laminate it
- Roll thinner and thinner
- Cut your shape
As I said before, fresh pasta is cooked very quickly. Thin noodles (like angel hair) are ready in less than 60 seconds and thicker noodles (like pappardelle) take only two minutes. So make sure your gravy is ready before dropping your spaghetti! The fresh pasta is best cooked in salted water (I like my salted like the sea) and seasoned with sauce as soon as cooking finishes. It is not necessary to rinse it or cover it with oil after draining; this will interfere with the sauce’s ability to cling to the starch molecules on the noodles.
You can taste a noodle to make sure it is made, but it is finished when the pasta becomes lighter in color, floats upwards, and appears dense and expanded. Unfortunately, fresh pasta cannot really be cooked “al dente” like dry pasta. No matter what you do, it will be soft, so don’t try to overcook it to get that annoying bite.
And that’s it, how to use a pasta maker in four easy steps! Just be warned: once you start making fresh pasta, you will be spoiled. You will never want to go back to the guy you bought in the store!Tags: cooking, kitchen, pasta, pastamaker