Q: I would like to know how to make my own pasta. How long can I keep the pasta dough in the fridge?
A: We make fresh pasta at least once a week at Wickedfood cooking school and once people taste the difference they often wonder why they haven’t learnt to make it sooner. As far as keeping it in the fridge I wouldn’t keep it in its raw form for longer than 2-3days, If filling or rolling it does freeze very well for ±3 months just make sure to use enough flour to prevent them from sticking to one another. I have added the following recipe which we do in our corporate team building class and its always a hit.
Factory made pasta is made with flour and water, whereas in homemade pasta, eggs generally take the place of water, giving a much richer product. Homemade pasta keeps well so long as it is properly dried. It also freezes well.
As a basic recipe, to make ±500g of pasta, enough for 4 standard servings, use:
3 large eggs
1/2t salt (optional)
There are four steps to making egg dough:
1. Combining eggs and flour – Make a well in the flour, pour the liquid into the well and slowly fold the flour into the liquid until a dough is formed (add 1-2T water if the dough seems too dry and does not want to bind together, but do not add too much!!)
2. Kneading the dough – Empty the dough onto a clean work surface and knead with your hands until it is well blended. Allow the dough to rest in the fridge for ±20 minutes, wrapped in plastic.
Rolling the dough
Divide the dough into 4 equal balls. Work with one ball at a time and keep the others covered.
Sprinkle the work surface liberally with flour. Flatten the ball, and then begin to roll it out, working quickly so that it does not dry out. After each roll, give it a quarter turn and flip it, dusting with more flour if necessary (do not use too much flour, as is also tends to dry the dough).
Try and roll it into a rectangle to approximately 2mm thick.
4. Shaping – Allow the pasta to rest, covered with a tea towel on a flour-dusted surface for a few minutes before cutting it into the desired shapes – for flat pasta there are 3 basic thickness’s:
Pappardelle ±4cm wide;
Tagliatelle ±2cm wide; and
Taglierini ±1cm wide;
To cut the pasta, flour it well, fold it along its length into ±7cm sections to create a square, then cut into the desired widths.
Wickedfood Cooking School runs cooking classes throughout the year at its purpose-built cooking studios in Johannesburg. Cookery classes are run in the mornings and evenings 7 days a week (subject to a minimum of 12 people). This team building venue is also popular for corporate events and private functions – team building cooking classes, birthdays, kitchen teas, and dinner parties with a difference.
Our cooking classes are hands-on, where every person gets to participate in the preparation of the dishes. They are also a lot of fun where you not only learn new skills, but get to meet people with similar interests. For corporate groups and team building cooking classes these events are a novel way of creating staff interaction or entertaining clients.