Pasta Fresca, the secret ingredient for the perfect Pasta Dish

Pasta Fresca
Pasta Fresca

Now everyone loves themselves a good pasta but none more than the Italians! Today almost everyone knows how to make a pasta dish; but we honestly believe that the best way to make pasta is by making your own pasta! So here we go, this is the recipe that teaches you how to make your own Pasta Fresca  

Fresh pasta

Serves 4

400 g of flour

4 eggs

4 tbs of white wine (optional)

pinch of salt

On a work surface, preferably wooden, build the flour in a mound and make a well in its center. Break the eggs into the well and then add in the wine and the salt. With a fork, lightly beat the eggs. Then in a circular motion, gradually incorporate flour from the sides of the well until combined. With the heel of your hand, knead the dough by pushing it down and away and turning it repeatedly using a dough scraper if it sticks and continue for at least 15-20 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. If it sticks to the surface or seems a little soft, sprinkle it with flour. Gather the dough into a ball.

The next step is to decide on the preferred type of pasta. For lasagna, tagliatelle, ravioli, etc, roll it out flat.

For noodle pasta, rolling and forming pasta:  On a clean surface dusted with flour, flatten the kneaded dough with your hand. With a flour-dusted rolling pin, roll it out to desired thickness according to how you wish to use the pasta. Loosely roll up the pasta around the rolling pin and unroll onto a flour-dusted kitchen towel, leaving it until dry to the touch but still flexible- about 10 minutes, less if the air is dry. On the work surface, roll the pasta into a cylinder. With a small sharp knife, cut crosswise into ribbons of desired width.

Both fresh and dried pasta should be cooked ‘al dente’, tender but chewy. Many people overcook their pasta and don’t put enough (if any!) salt in the water. Use a LARGE pot that is big enough to let the pasta float freely during cooking. Bring the water to a full rolling boil, salt it GENEROUSLY, and then add the pasta. As soon as the water returns to a boil start timing the pasta and stirring during the boil to prevent it sticking together. The time will vary depending on the pasta though fresh pasta usually takes dfrom 2-4 minutes depending on the thickness and for dried pasta it usually takes about 8-12 minutes. For any stuffed pasta such as ravioli you may wish to remove them from the boiling water with a slotted spoon instead of tipping into a colander as they are more delicate.

Sapori e Colori delle Paste

Flavours and Colours of Pasta

Spinach – Finely chopped spinach is added to the pasta dough according to the recipe instructions. Light green.

Broccoli – Finely chopped broccoli is added to the pasta dough according to the recipe instructions. Mild broccoli flavour. Medium to dark green.

Tomato Tomato paste is added to the pasta dough according to the recipe instructions. Mild tomato flavour. Light reddish-orange to dark reddish-orange.

Garlic and HerbsCrushed garlic cloves and one or more herbs, such as sage, thyme, parsley, chives, rosemary, tarragon, basil, and oregano, are added to the pasta dough. Spicy garlic. Creamy beige with green flecks.

Curry – Curry powder, which is a spice blend that is generally composed of cumin, turmeric, coriander, ground red pepper, and cloves, is added to the pasta dough to provide a distinct flavour. Spicy Tint of burnt orange.

Saffron – Saffron is added to pasta dough to give it a distinct flavour and colour. Spicy, mildly bitter. Bright yellowish-gold.

And don’t forget that if you’re ever in Florence you definitely should drop by our cooking class so that you can learn how to make some authentic Italian food from our amazing gourmet chefs!!