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a home + living guide for the post-college, pre-parenthood, quasi-adult generation

04.22.2002

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noodling around
make your own fresh pasta noodles
1 2 3 4
continued from page 2

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4 Transfer the dough to a clean, lightly-floured surface to give you more room to knead the dough. This is when youíll really feel your muscles getting a work out. Knead the dough by pushing and stretching, pushing and stretching until the texture begins to take on a nice elastic feel. If the dough seems too crumbly, add a drop or two of water as needed; if too sticky, add more flour. When the dough is smooth and just a little bit glossy, gather it into a ball, wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and let the dough sit for at least a half hour, or up to a day.

rolling the dough
You can roll the dough by hand, of course, but itís so much easier with a hand-crank pasta machine. These useful little devices are very affordable, and if you think youíll be making pasta with any regularity, itís well worth investing in one.

1 Divide the dough into 6 sections of approximately equal size. Cover five of the dough balls with plastic wrap while you begin working on your first piece.
2 Give the dough a few quick kneads Ė if it seems too sticky, sprinkle with a bit of flour. Flatten into a disk.
3 With the pasta machine on the 1 setting, feed the dough  through with one hand while you crank the handle with your other hand. At this point, youíll probably find your dough is sort of holey and lumpy Ė fold it in half, 
then run it through again. Repeat until you have a nice, smooth, slab of dough Ė I generally find this takes 3-4 passes through the rollers.
4 At this point, increase the setting to 2. Pass the dough through the rollers again, then change to the 3 setting and repeat. Continue in this manner, increasing the setting incrementally, until you get to the 5 setting (you can go to 6 if you want a very thin pasta, but I generally find 5 to be sufficient). If at any point, if your dough seems like itís sticking to the rollers, dust the dough with more flour.
5 If you have a drying rack (you can buy a clothes drying rack -- it works dandy for pasta), spread your rolled-out dough across the dowels. Alternatively, place it flat on a tablecloth while you roll out the remaining dough.


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