Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Making Pasta - Part III

The last and final phase is to then roll all the sheets one more time into fettuccini or spaghetti, as they are the two options with my current machine. If you didn't want either of them, there are many, many ways to cut them up into different types of pasta. Lidia's Family Table just a aired a show entitled, "Fresh Pasta, The Long and Short of It", which is a great demonstration of this entire process and she shows how to create several handmade pastas, like gargenelli, from these sheets.
The first picture shows a side-by-side comparison showing what the sheet looks like when it comes out as spaghetti. As the pasta is cut, it is floured well to prevent sticking and put into containers headed for the freezer. I place the pasta in the containers as I'd want them come apart in boling water; gently laid on top of each other so that they come apart easily with no clumping or sticking. Lots O'Flour!! The third picture shows plain fettuccini getting ready for freezing. Before being run through the cutters, we cut the sheets of pasta into "normal" eating lengths. You don't want to handle them to much after they've been cut. You also can hang pasta to dry. When completely dry, you can safely store pasta without having to be refrigerated or frozen. I personally don't prefer this method because when they are dried, they are extremely delicate and can break easily.
When getting ready to cook the pasta, I ONLY take the pasta out of the freezer a minute before going into the boiling water. If you allow them to defrost, the water will combine with the flour and give you a gelatenous mess
I've kept pasta frozen, sealed very well, for up to 8 months and still tasted great. Although, it never lasts that long in the freezer.!
I guess I should do a "Making Pasta - Part IV" in the future when I have the digital camera around and it's cooked and dressed with gravy! Dee as well as others who cook with me in the kitchen often say that is like a "therapy" session for them. So if anyone in the Tampa Bay area needs some "therapy", give me a buzz!

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