Recently, I dug out my pasta machine to play with because I found a bag of 00 flour lying around in my cabinet. I bought the flour to make pumpkin ravioli on my birthday a couple of months ago and ended up having some left over. And thus, my pasta/ noodle craze began!
Making pasta is great because its so 1. simple and 2. delicious. It’s also great to do for parties because people can get all messay and involved in the process.
Making pasta is definitely a team effort. =D
So to make pasta, a basic recipe from the Culinary Institute of America is:
1lb Pasta flour (which is 1 part 00 flour, 2 parts AP flour)
2 whole eggs
a drip of olive oil
So though I said making pasta is simple at the beginning of the post, it can get fairly complicated if you really want get into it. There are a lot of different opinions such as what flour to use is best, or what number of eggs to use it best, should I use yolks only etc… Well. I guess all I can say is experiment, try different things and see what you like.
Back when I was working at Plum, the recipe we used (which was from the french laundry) called for:
1kg 00 Flour
1T olive oil
And so because I don’t want to think of what to do with all the left over egg whites each time I make pasta, I tend to find a happy median between the basic recipe and Mr. Keller’s one. Is the quality significantly different? Yes, I think it is. TK’s version is much richer with all the yolks, however the basic one is definitely not bad at all.
As you can tell just by the color between these two raviolis. The top one is made with 29 yolks, while the bottom one, significantly less. (The top is a quail egg yolk ravioli with Dill in the pasta, while the bottom one is a Pumpkin Ricotta cheese ravioli)
Here is pasta making session 1. You can tell from the left to the right that the pasta progressively gets better and better
Broccoli, Ricotta bacon Ravioli, to be served with a mushroom white wine parmesan cheese sauce
Pasta making session 2. Here I tried 2 kinds of pasta dough. You can barely see a difference. The pasta on the left has 1 whole egg. The pasta on the right had 2 egg yolks. The taste was similar, however the texture was quite different. The one with more yolks had a chewier, bouncier texture, while the one with 1 whole egg was a tiny bit softer.
Fresh diced tomatoes, mince garlic, chopped basil, olive oil.
A tip to making pasta, use the pasta water to help thicken the sauce. If you don’t put pasta water the pasta might give off a very oily mouthfeel to it. The water will emulsify with the oil and create a really nice tomato sauce.
Pasta session 3: Capellini with sun dried tomato-pesto sauce
Extra pesto with salmon
noodle session: ramen!
So I was on the phone with my aunt Judy this morning, and she told me to figure out how to make ramen. Thus the inspiration.
For the ramen, the key ingredient is sodium bicarbonate (aka baking soda). Ramen’s main ingredients are Flour, water and kansui (water high in alkaline). Historically, Kansui (鹼水) is the water that came from Lake Kan in inner mongolia. The water from Lake Kan had a lot of minerals and alkaline and thus noodles made with that water had a more firm/ bouncy texture. (Does that mean ramen was originally Mongolian? Who knows.)
I found Marc’s blog to be the most informative (Thank you sir!) So there’s more information there if you’re interested!
Since I did not have kansui, I simply used baking soda instead. The texture of the noodles were really good and ramen-like. However it did not have that yellowy color to it =(.
playing with my noodz
I used about 2 cups high protein bread flour, 1/2 cup water, 1 tsp baking soda.
Laksa noooodles =D
And before I know it, I made pasta/ noodles 4 times within a week.
I apologize for the crappy photos taken. 1. A lot of them were taken on my iphone with flour-ed hands, 2. I was really hungry and didn’t have the patience to take better photos 3. The lighting my kitchen is terrible =(.
And here are a few extra pasta-related photos from before
3 cheese ravioli, whey and nettles served at plum
Tomato quail egg ravioli served at plum
pumpkin ravioli with brown butter sage sauce and walnuts
Thousand year old #quail #egg, #potage (#cabbage, #bacon, #cream), #ginger #benu (Taken with Instagram)
Made #lunch for the #grandma, #9veg with #egg, #salted #pork #congee #cabbage, left over #porkcutlet, #xo #friedrice #scallion #pancake (Taken with instagram)
A nice Sunday lunch with my #grandma, #pork #congee #softboiled #egg #stirfried #greenbeans #xo #sauce #youtiao (Taken with instagram)
#steak #tartare #egg shavings (Taken with instagram)