Pasta would have to be something I could almost live off. Fresh pasta is even better. A few weeks ago Scoopon was offering a $40 cooking class with H4 Hospitality at Wynnum. Always having wanted to try a cooking class but not liking the $120 + price tag on most of them I was yet to give it a go. This seemed like the perfect opportunity so after a quick check of their website and a ring around of my friends, we were set for an introduction to Italian pasta.
Wow, what an experience! We made fresh fettuccine from scratch along with a carbonara sauce that I have dreamed of ever since. It was so fantastic I waited just five days to give it a go all on my own. I already own a pasta maker so after purchasing a few ingredients I was all set.
It’s really not that difficult or time consuming once you get the hang of it but I wouldn’t want to make fresh pasta for a crowd.
Step one is to measure out about 1 cup of flour to 1 egg. This was for two people but we did have rather generous servings so it could have stretched to three. You need to use the best quality flour you can get. I had this in the cupboard but had a look at Coles today and you can get ‘00’ quality flour in with all the regulars.
‘Cut’ the egg through the flour and slowly add water until it’s all combined and you can make it into a ball. Tip it out onto the bench and begin your kneading workout. We were told to do it like this…hold one half with one hand and push it away with the other hand.
Knead for about 10 minutes or until it’s silky smooth. Then your dough needs a little rest.
Cover it with a bowl and leave for 15 minutes. You can do all your sauce preparation while the dough’s snoozing (or you can get someone else to cut it all up for you like I did!).
Now the fun part. Grab a rolling pin and get to work. Roll the dough out, fold it back over itself and repeat. Once you’re sick of doing that (I’m not really sure how long you’re meant to roll for) roll it out into a shape that will fit through your pasta machine. You might need to cut your dough at this stage.Working your way down the settings getting thinner each time (I only did it twice) flatten our your dough ready for cutting. Make sure you flour it well after this stage.
Using your fettuccine setting, make your pasta and hang it out to dry. I used a very fancy drying machine, aka a piece of wooden roll hung over two canisters. My sister once used a broom stick hanging from one side of the kitchen to the other. You can use anything.
Once that’s done, boil a big pot of water and throw in some salt. Once it’s at a rolling boil add your fresh pasta.
While your pasta’s cooking it’s time to get saucy. This is my lower-calorie, lower-fat version of the recipe I learned last week. In a dash of olive oil, sizzle 2 rashers of finely chopped bacon for a couple of minutes. Add one finely chopped onion and sauté for another few minutes. Add chopped mushrooms (as many as you desire) and cook until they start to brown. I then added a carton of Liddells light lactose free thickened cream.
I use this for cooking whenever a recipe calls for cream. It’s easy to store and have on hand and tastes just like regular cream. You can use any type of cream. Season with salt and pepper and once heated through remove the pan from the heat.
Add grated parmesan, fresh parsley and one lightly whisked egg. Throw in your cooked pasta and mix it all up. Just one step left. Enjoy! I guarantee you’ll love this recipe. If you’re not keen on making your own pasta, use store bought and make the carbonara sauce.
I love a good spag bol or pomodoro sauce but this carbonara has definitely made it on my favourites list. What’s your favourite easy pasta sauce?