When I started this blog I planed on exploring home style italian cooking, mainly through the lans of pasta making, The idea of writing about a restaurant seems a bit odd, as the core if the idea was to take what is called the “casalinga” approach, things that real people make at home. On a Christmas trip to Israel I have been invited to a eat in a restaurant that made me change my mind about this. A small place in Tel-Aviv called La Repubblica di Ronimotti, that find a unique balance between fine and home cooking.
Before getting into more details, I’ll like to apologize in front of two dishes which certainly were worth mentioning here, but didn’t get a good enough picture, the first is the home made polenta with truffle oil which started the journey and the second is the Malfatti a spinach based pattie which was developed as a ‘mistake’ but made it to the top of the menu, served in a roasted pepper and cheese sauce, I guess I’ll have to go back to document these!
What an amazing experience it is to go to the Raffetto’s pasta store here in NY. This is a destination for pasta lovers from all over the world, whenever I hear the beat of their pasta machine it simply takes me back to Italy (a 100 years ago). So if you have any doubts what it the best fresh pasta in NY, hopefully this video will make it all clear.
The pasta maker caught in the act of live garnishing. I once heard an old pasta myth that pasta with out garnish is not worth eating, obviously you can see by the look of this man that for the pasta maker garnishing is a serious mater, here he is armed with some fresh basil and toasted pine nuts.
Using a pastry wheel is a great way to cut your fresh pasta, and something that will open a window for much pasta creativity, if you wonder what will be the right wheel to cut fresh pasta, well there are many options, here are some that I found most useful.
For many years I used to make pasta with a pasta maker only, I never had a pastry wheel in my kitchen even, and when I finally got one I didn’t think much of it at first. One day I remember, I was going to make angle hair spaghetti and I realized that running the dough through the pasta maker on such a low thickness level really makes the dough very long, perhaps too long to handle, so I used the pastry wheel to cut it in half (which resulted with perfect angle hair pasta length), quickly I found myself playing with the pastry wheel cutting different shape of pasta, and what was planed to be an angle hair spaghetti ended up being something much more interesting and creative Continue reading →
The way you ride (cut) your pasta says a lot about who you are, The pasta bike will give your fresh pasta the style flavor and cut you often see in restaurants. now you too can give your pasta a stylish cut.
Many people ask me whats the best way to cut fresh pasta dough, the truth is that there is no one way, as there are so many pasta styles out there, some people like to cut their pasta with a pasta bike, some like to use a pastry wheel and some like to use the pasta bike.
Good dough is the first step in making any fresh pasta. after many experiments and research, I am happy to reveal the best pasta dough recipe I found. This is a simple formula but there are crucial parts in order to get make it successfully.
The ingredient for making fresh pasta dough are very basic, as pasta is a simple dish yet a very versatile one. all it takes to make fresh pasta is eggs, flour, salt and olive oil.
Warning: Not all eggs are created equal!
Eggs: If you made fresh pasta before you already know that not all eggs are created equal, and when it comes to pasta if your eggs are not as flavorful you’ll most likely need to come up with a different strategy. First you’ll need to identify the quality of your eggs. This is the pasta maker official take on eggs in one word: FRESH. what makes a good egg is its freshness and where it came from, make sure you are using organic or at least cage free eggs, if you can get eggs directly from a chicken you know and trust that is the best you can do, but like most of us you’ll have to compromise on using fresh (check the date) organic egg.
Half & Half
Flour: You can use regular all purpose flour, though to maximize the flavor I recommend using a mix of semolina and all purpose flour. The core formula is actually very simple, for what ever amount you are making use half semolina and half all purpose flour.
This is pretty much it to know about the ingredients, as for the equipment, you can use the old school technique of making a mountain of flour on a big table and slowly mixing the eggs in, but to be honest with you even the oldest grandmother had already switched to something more advance – using a food processor. While you will finish your dough with a good hand job with a rolling pin, using the food processor will save you around 15-20 min of hard work. any food processor with a dough hook will do the work, If you do not have a food processor I recommend looking into getting the kitchenaid one, I find it to be an amazing food processor which does great work making doughs not only for pasta but for breads and many other type of pastries.
After my previous post fresh pasta DIY a few people asked me to confirm some of the details, specially in regard to getting angle hair pasta done right, so here is a revised version demonstrating the marcato pasta maker full guide to fresh pasta done right. Continue reading →
Using a pasta drying rack is something that will help you take your home made pasta making to the next level, and help you avoid having your fresh pasta stick and had to be redone, drying your pasta right is a very important part of making pasta at home. If you made fresh pasta at home before you already know how crucial it is to let your pasta dry in the right way other wise your freshly cut pasta will dry on top of each other and stick back into another form of dough.
I used to dry my pasta on a traditional pasta drying rack made from wood, which is the way pasta had been dried for many generations in my family, and indeed I find nothing wrong with using this method, until a friend of mine gave a gift the Marcato Atlas Pasta Drying Rack, which comes from another family who been making fresh pasta for many generations (perhaps even longer than my heritage ), at first this looked to me like some kind of a toy I do not need in my kitchen, when I opened the packaged the thing looked like a tripod, a pasta tripod, I wasn’t sure if this is the right pasta gadget for me. Then one day I was invited to make fresh pasta at another friend kitchen where he also had the same fancy pasta drying rack, that was the night everything changed. Continue reading →
Fresh Pasta DIY, Master the secrets of making fresh pasta at home, with this simple yet sophisticated formula for fresh pasta recipe. Warning: this is a great pasta once you had it, you can’t really go back!
Making fresh pasta at home is an easy and fun thing, but there are a few things you got to get right, first being your pasta dough, at this point when you have your dough ready to be made into pasta you basicly have two options:
You can flat it with a rolling pin and cut it, something which will take much effort and will be very challenging to get a consistence level of thickness.
You can roll out your pasta maker, set it up to the desire thickness and cut it to your favorite shape (Note: if you don’t have a pasta maker already, read this post first and get one)