Food: A recipe for handmade pasta

What you’ll need :

-plain flour (maida) 



Handmade pasta is probably one of the easiest things to make, despite how difficult and unapproachable it sounds. And anyway, a pasta machine is (almost) completely unnecessary. 

So, the first thing to do is gently tap out an unmeasured, unsifted amount of flour onto a tray or just an ordinary kitchen countertop. Make sure it forms a gentle sloping mountain, and using an egg— make a well in the centre of the flour. Lift the egg out, only to crack it right into the depression, crack some more, and get right in there with a fork. Whisk gently and using your hands push more and more flour into the light eggy, golden pool, approximately a tablespoon at a time until the mixture is too sticky to whisk anymore. 

Lift the fork out, and using your hands, wipe the excess mixture off of the fork and back into the pool. Now, add the flour in more liberally. it’s a good time to get messy and start kneading lightly as soon as the dough starts to come together. Place the ball of dough onto another lightly floured surface and begin to knead. Kneading involves flattening the dough with the palm of your hand, only to fold it back onto itself and repeat, until the dough, when poked, comes back at you immediately, indicative of a well developed gluten network (proteins in the wheat, that provide structure, strength and flexibility to the dough, when hydrated). Kneading requires at least 10-15 minutes, this makes the pasta bouncy and soft. 

After the dough is done, wrap it up tightly in plastic wrap and let it sit untouched for at least one hour, this makes it easier to roll out later. Once it’s rested, flour your work surface liberally, and start rolling out the dough with firm but gentle strokes, try to form a smooth rectangle, and if the dough has rested enough, it’ll offer no resistance to the rolling, keep rolling until it is transparent enough to see your fingers through the dough. A dusting of flour will again stop the dough from sticking and after that fold the dough into thirds, keeping the folds uniform and well floured, with the slightest of pressure so as not to damage the delicate filo. Once folded, start cutting strips along breadth wise, about a centimetre wide. 

Finally, with your well floured hands, pick the noodles up carefully and unfurl them, leaving you with beautiful fettuccine ready to be boiled for just a few minutes in salted water and then tossed in a luscious light sauce (preferably involving Parmesan!)
Mehak Bathla, 12 AICE

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