Sunday, 21 March 2010
Making Pasta - a revolutionary tip...
I've discovered a new trick in making pasta (instructions for which can be found here) which infinitely improves the quality of the finished product. The result of a malfunctioning food-processor, when making pasta dough several weeks ago, I had to remove the mixture from the bowl of the machine before the process was finished and then knead it by hand for several minutes until it appeared to have achieved the desired texture. I was slightly nervous when it subsequently came to rolling it out, half expecting it to be full of holes and next to useless. Far from it. The process of rolling was problem-free, and the texture of the cooked pasta afterwards was positively silky. Not just slightly better, but a whole step-function upwards in improvement...as pointed out by enthusiastic consumers.
I tried it again on subsequent occasions, to see if it had been a fluke. And, it isn't. After the dough has done its thing in the food processor, the trick is then to knead it for perhaps 20 - 30 seconds on the work surface, before storing and subsequently rolling out as normal. Such a small addition to the process, but the result in the quality of the pasta is phenomenal. (One note of caution, though - this works when using flour made from durum wheat, as is the case with italian flour in general; flour from the US, though, is different and might not react in the same way - it may even be that the process of kneading the dough with american flour actually makes the finished product tougher than otherwise)
Taglioline with veal & lemon sauce
Pork chops braised with sage & white wine; Fennel gratin