In the last 10 months, I’ve had more processed, instant food and takeouts more than I’ve ever had before. And no, that is not an exaggeration. I grew up to a family that loved to cook and eat good food. So when I moved to Canada, I’ve realized how much I got spoiled by my family. Apparently eating home-cooked meals at least 90% of the time is a luxury not afforded by most young adults (if not adults in general).
It made me feel weird buying food and/ or eating packaged food more than a few times a week. Despite making an effort to choose the healthiest takeout options, I still couldn’t help but feel heavy and unhealthy. So this year, I want to make a conscious effort to cook more and keep a healthy lifestyle. My first big kitchen adventure this year: Veggie Lasagna Using Fresh Pasta.
I’ll share the recipe in two parts. This week, we’re starting with making the fresh pasta.
Basic Fresh Pasta Recipe:
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp. ground pepper
- pinch of salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp olive oil
1. Mix all dry ingredients well. Many recipes will tell you to then pour the dry ingredients into a pile on a flat work surface. You can choose to do this BUT if, like me, you usually work in a small kitchen with little to no counter space to work on, you can continue working on a big mixing bowl.
2. Make a well in the center, then break the eggs and add the olive oil into it. Mix with a fork (I used my clean hands) until it’s well blended.
3. Once everything has mixed together into a dough consistency, start kneading it on a clean, floured surface until smooth.
4. Let the dough “relax” in the fridge for at least an hour.
5. Use a pasta machine or a rolling pin to roll the dough out to your desired thickness. Liberally sprinkle flour on the surface every now and then.
- divide the dough into smaller parts to make it easier to roll
- although I ultimately used a pasta machine, I opted to use a rolling pin to make (roughly) 2×4 inch rectangles, about half an inch thick. this just makes it the resulting sheets a little bit more uniform in size
Bring a big pot of water to a boil. Add some salt (and oil, optional). Add the pasta and cook through. Cooking time varies, largely depending on the pasta’s thickness.
Notes on Storing Fresh Pasta:
- most sources say it’s always best to cook the pasta the same day you rolled it out
- if you want to mix the dough ahead of time, just leave it covered in the fridge then roll and cut into shape when you’re ready to cook
- it you made a big batch of pasta, you can use a pasta drying rack (or improvise with a cooling rack). Make sure it dries completely before storing because moisture can result in mold. More info here.
* To make whole wheat pasta use: 1-1/2 white AP flour, 1/2 whole wheat flour, 7 eggs, 1/2 tsp ground pepper, pinch of salt and 2 tsp olive oil. Instructions are the same as above.
Have you made fresh pasta before? Any recipes you’d care to share? Check back next week for the second half of the recipe!