When I was in Italy a year ago, I was very lucky and got to make chocolate at the Pergina factory. This time round I got to make pasta. I’d always wanted to make pasta but thought it would be too much hassle and I didn’t want yet another machine in the house that I would seldom use. I didn’t realise how wrong I was until I had a lesson in pasta-making at Pasta Fresca Laura in Sant’Arcangelo di Romagna.
When we arrived, we got stuck in. Having washed my hands, I started measuring out 2kgs of flour.
Once I had all the flour, I made a well. That’s because I was making egg pasta.
It was a dozen to be exact. It seemed like a lot of eggs to me but, apparently, it’s 6 eggs per kilogram. It got a little messy for a while. The white of the eggs started to escape from the well I had made in the flour until it started to combine.
Once it formed a dough, it was cut in two, wrapped in a plastic bag, and put in the fridge to rest. I don’t know about the dough, but I certainly needed a rest.
Then, 20 minutes later, it was time to roll it out. Having seen a pro roll out pasta dough, I had an idea of how to do it but I listened and followed the advice given to me by my very patient pasta teacher, Laura’s husband.
There is a bit of knack to it. You have to press down as you roll it and move your hands from the centre of the rolling pin outwards so you roll the dough out evenly. You get a pretty good work out whilst doing it because it’s actually quite physical.
I wasn’t sure it would ever come to an end. The dough was getting bigger and bigger while I was getting hotter and hotter. It was like a sauna, which is why they tend to make the dough early in the morning rather than in the afternoon. Just look at the size of the dough; it’s almost as big as me!
After that, we used it to make a few different types of pasta, one of which was tagliatelle. This was surprisingly easy to do. You just fold up the sheet of pasta and cut it into strips. I was a little too generous at times and cut some of the strips a wee bit too wide.
Then, the fun bit – lifting up a bunch of strips I had cut and shaking them, which helped them to separate. We placed the bundles in neat rows on a sheet ready for cooking.
That’s it, one of the finished products! I felt quite proud of my achievement and my first attempt at making pasta. You don’t need a pasta machine to roll out pasta, just a whacking great big rolling pin, somewhere large enough to roll the dough out, and loads of elbow grease!
The only thing left to do was… cook it and eat it, which we did later on at Collina dei Poeti, a nearby winery. This gave us the opportunity of sampling some of their wonderful wines such as Albachiara, a sparkling rose. A perfect end to the day, wouldn’t you agree?
If this has inspired you to have a lesson in making fresh pasta in Italy, you can find their contact details here.
This is where it is located…
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* This was part of the #romagnadiffusa project. I would like to thank my hosts at Pasta Fresca Laura for being so patient and teaching me how to make fresh pasta and to Collina dei Poeti for cooking our pasta and the fantastic wine. Finally, I would like to thank Alessandra from 21Grammy and Giancarlo from Albergo Diffuso for making it possible.
** Please note that all the opinions and observations expressed in this post are purely my own.