When I studied Italian as an undergrad many years ago, the Italian lecturer told us that she makes fresh pasta daily in her house and that we all should try it as it’s just not the same as store-bought pasta. I remember thinking to myself, I can barely make perfectly round and soft rotis, why on earth would I even consider making my own pasta. More than a decade later on one rainy night in the tents of Mina (during my Hajj pilgrimage), a lovely Zambian lady who owned a restaurant back home, convinced the rest of us ladies (yes, we really should have been praying but somehow the topic of food came up!) to try making our own pasta. She did so all the time and declared, “You will never want to buy pasta again!”
A year later, I attended my first pasta-making class with Chef Fatima Stanley at The Master Chef Culinary Academy in Durban. It was a wonderful experience and we made ravioli, tortellini, tagliatelle and gnocchi. Subsequently, I even managed to buy myself a pasta-making machine that was on sale. But then life happens and the shiny pasta machine found itself neatly packed away in one of my cupboards, until I decided to reorganise a few days ago and kept it out on my kitchen countertop.
So this is how I made fresh pasta (tagliatelle), using Chef Fatima Stanley’s recipe:
365g cake flour
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
pinch of salt
2 Tablespoons of fresh cream
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
½ cup of cold water
- Sift the flour and then add salt, eggs, cream and olive oil.
- Add water slowly until the dough is smooth and not sticky.
- Work the dough on a flat surface for a few minutes and then cling wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Roll out dough in pasta machine into flat sheets like lasagne.
- Use the tagliatelle cutter on the pasta machine to give you long ribbon noodles.
- Place tagliatelle in a pot of boiling salted water and cook for 5-10 minutes (timing will vary based on thickness of pasta).
- Remove with a slotted spoon. It is not necessary to rinse under cold water when making fresh pasta.
I separated the dough into smaller pieces, rolled it out with a rolling pin first and then inserted into the pasta machine (to make flat sheets).
Then I rolled it through the tagliatelle cutter. Ensure that your dough has enough flour, especially when passing through the machine. The previous time I made it, the dough stuck quite a bit to the machine. This time, I used flour liberally and it made a huge difference.
I boiled the pasta immediately after cutting it as I didn’t want the ribbons to stick together. I boiled it for around 7-8 minutes.
To serve my freshly made pasta, I cooked a fresh tomato sauce as well as a white sauce. It truly was divine!