I love pasta particularly the freshly-made, hand-fashioned variety. When I feel the urge I head to one of my favourite restaurants in Sydney, ‘a tavola‘ on Victoria St in Darlinghurst which does it as well as mama does. When you enter the restaurant’s long, narrow front room in the early evening you’re greeted with wooden racks of fresh egg-yellow, fringed curtains of fettuccine and spaghetti drying in the breeze. It’s rustic and authentic and you just know that slow-cooked duck ragu is going to taste so much better.
Every Italian household has a pasta machine the way every Australian home has a toaster – they couldn’t imagine a kitchen without it.
So after much consideration, I decided to purchase my own pasta machine and make my first home batch of angel-hair spaghetti. I bought an Italian ‘Atlas’ brand machine with four cutting settings for $129.99 from Wheel and Barrow and got to work last night. The machine was very easy to use and as long as I remembered to keep the dough well-floured I didn’t have any real disasters with dough sticking or getting caught in the machine. I dried it overnight and will cook it tonight with a sauce and give you my verdict. Here’s the very simple recipe I used.
Pasta dough recipe
300g ‘OO‘ Plain flour
3 medium eggs
Sift the flour onto your workbench. Make a well in the centre and add the eggs and a pinch of salt. Work the mixture until it comes together, scraping the bench to pick up any sticky bits.Wash your hands. Now knead the dough for 10-15 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Let it rest for 30 minutes covered in cling wrap. Cut into 5 to six pieces and start putting through your pasta machine starting at the widest setting and moving through to the smallest until you have a translucent sheet to put through your preferred cutter. Flour well as you go. Hang pasta on a suspended wooden spoon or broom handle to dry slightly before boiling in salted water for five or six minutes.