The Spaghetti Factory

The Spaghetti Factory

The Spaghetti Factory

Making your own pasta is at home is easy and lots of fun. All you needs is some flour and eggs; a pasta machine or you can use a rolling pin and a large cutting board and you’re ready to start the “Spaghetti Factory”.

To make pasta, start by combining two cups of flour (I use 1 cup regular flour and 1 cup whole wheat flour) with three large eggs, a teaspoon of salt, and a tablespoon of oil. Mix the dough with a fork until it has started to combine, and then work with it by hand to form a ball of dough. If the dough seems dry, add a few drops of water, but try to prevent it from becoming moist and sticky. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic. Then let the dough rest for 15-20 minutes, covered with a damp towel. This is an important step when you make pasta, and it will prevent the noodles from being gummy or rubbery.

Now for the fun part. Divide your dough into several balls, flatten the dough ball with your hands and run through each of the settings on your pasta machine–taking care to dust generously with flour each time. Keep doing this until the dough has reached the desired thickness. Attach your pasta cutter to the other side of the machine, and carefully roll the dough strip through, separating each of the strands. Hang on dowels, the back of a chair or like me using my clothes bar. Repeat the entire process with the other ball of dough. If you don’t have a pasta machine, roll it out by hand with your rolling pin on a generously floured surface and use a knife to cut your strands. You can either use the pasta right away (it should only take a minute or two to cook up in boiling, salted water [use a tablespoon or two of salt]) or leave it to dry, about three hours (now the pasta will take about five minutes to cook). Freeze whatever you don’t use. It will remain good for up to 3 months.

That dried, boxed-up, plastic-wrapped pasta of an uncertain age can never compare to the sleek and slippery pasta that you lovingly and carefully prepared. Just seconds in boiling water and these glistening, ultra-slender strands are ready for your favorite sauces or a slathering butter and olive oil, a touch of garlic, sprinkle of crunchy salt, and a twirl of the fork before sliding across your tongue and over your teeth to . . . bliss. Yum!

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