So on Saturday my friend Amanda and I took a drive out to Scarborough to visit her Grandma and Grandpa and to learn how to make some real italian cuisine. Now there is more to this trip than just learning to cook, Amanda is writing a cookbook/ biography based on the life of her incredible grandmother and Amanda has invited me along to document the whole adventure through photography. Needless to say, I am totally ecstatic. I love photography and I love food and therefore it's fair to say that I love food photography so this project has literally lit a fire inside of me.
Our first cooking class began with the most basic yet most integral part of an italian meal: the pasta. To begin, Amanda's grandma doesn't measure anything, everything is done with a handful of this or a pile of that and a drizzle of this. So in order to make a recipe that people could recreate we had to slow everything down and (attempt) to measure everything.
...with a lot of this! (Note: this is the only picture I could get where Amanda's grandma's hands were somewhat still. My camera just was not fast enough for these hands!)
The Pasta Machine.
Flattened sheets of pasta
Here's the recipe:
1 lb of flour
1 tbsp water
- Make a pile with the flour. Make a well in the middle of the flour pile.
- Crack all three eggs right in the well.
- Mix eggs and flour with a fork working in from the middle
- Knead dough until very hard. Scrape dough from table to use all of it.
- If dough looks like it is separating, add water to your hands than mix it.
- You need the knead it to remove excess water so that it does not get stuck in the machine.
- You have kneaded enough when the dough is soft but not moist and it is not lumpy.
- If making more than 1 dough, cover the second with a bowl to keep it from drying out while you use the machine.
- With a sharp knife, cut dough into sections (long strips) Roll out dough.
- Using the pasta flattener piece, roll out dough to make smoother. Then fold over. Then repeat. Do this 4-5 times. Each time, vary the thickness to get it thinner/smoother. For spaghetti, you want to get it to #3 on the pasta machine.
- With thin stripes, cut the edges with a pizza slicer. Thin pasta strips should be 25 cm long and all the same length.
- Flour each pasta strip to avoid it from sticking. Sprinkle flour on front/back of each piece.
- Cut the pasta. Then sprinkle flour on top of freshly cut pasta!
- To package the fresh pasta use wax paper.
- Pasta can be stored in freezer for months or eaten immediately. Do not put in fridge.