fresh pasta
We all see pasta on our menus and in the store everyday. But
where did pasta come from and what is made of ? It’s
popularly believed that Marco Polo, the 13th-century Venetian
explorer, introduced pasta to Europe from China. Some
reference to pasta in Sicily as early as 827-1061 AD.
Most pasta is made from “semolina flour” derived from durum
wheat. Semolina Flour is the gritty particles of wheat left after
the finer flour has passed through a bolting machine. The
ingredients in pasta are very simple flour and water, other
ingredients may be added for flavor such as spinach, tomato
paste, squid ink, eggs and milk. The dough is prepared by
kneading the semolina flour with water. The dough is usually
rolled out and cut into desired shapes or forced through a
pierced plate to form solid or hollow cylinders. Pasta is partly
dried in hot air, then more slowly in the open air. Completely
dried pasta can be stored for a considerable time without a loss
of quality; fresh pasta contains more water and keeps for only a
week or so unless frozen.. Pasta can be found, dry, fresh, fresh
pre-filled, frozen and frozen pre-filled. There are hundreds of
different pasta shapes and sizes (most of them dry) all designed
for different results, appearances and uses when cooked.
In a future issue I will describe the most popular pastas.
Homemade Pasta:
Today let’s talk fresh pasta or should I say homemade pasta.
Homemade pasta and store bought fresh-never frozen pasta has
a different taste and texture than dry pastas. There’s a fair
amount of work involved to prepare homemade pasta. There
are four basic steps for most homemade pasta. 1. Assembling
and mixing: ingredients are mixed into a wet dough, the dough
is worked to strengthen pasta. At this time the dough is allowed
to rest before make-up or chilled for later use. 2. Rolling and
make-up: the dough is benched and rolled thin enough to use in
the pasta maker or rolled very thin to be cut and worked by
hand. 3. Drying: most pasta are allowed to dry for a few
minutes to several hours, others are cooked shortly after
benching and cutting. 4. Cooking: pastas are cooked to desired
doneness, depending on the recipe or the cook’s personal