PASTA

Pasta is filled with carbohydrates, very little fat and quite a few proteins.

1 cup [250 mL] cooked pasta = 186 calories, 1 g fat.

For more fibres, choose whole wheat pasta - with a light sauce!

Spaghettini: very thin spaghetti

Lunghi: 20-inch [50 cm] long

Bucatini: giant spaghetti, hollowed center

Sauce will coat better a ribbon shaped pasta.

Baking pasta [lasagna, cannelloni] can be bought into two different varieties: to be cooked into boiling water before baking and already cooked [timesaver].

Egg pasta [fettucine noodles...] usually is ribbon shaped so that cream or butter sauces will be absorbed more easily.

To freeze an already cooked pasta noodle dish, reduce pasta noodles boiling time by 1/4th to 1/3rd.

Short pasta must be used in the making of pasta salads.

Tube like pasta [penne, rigatoni, long or elbow macaroni] and special shaped pasta [fusili, butterfly, wheels, shells] usually 'hold' sauces with tiny pieces better.

To serve pasta:

Quickly drain pasta [do not rinse]; add pasta to hot sauce into saucepan, not the other way around [starch will thicken sauce], to blend perfectly.



PASTA DOUGH

These instructions are meant to be a guide that must be adjusted depending on the type of equipment and recipe you are using.

Fresh pasta dough can be mixed and kneaded, and then refrigerated into a covered bowl overnight.

Proceed by removing the dough from the refrigerator about 1 hour before rolling it out.

Pasta dough can also be frozen; transfer the dough from the freezer to the refrigerator the night before and then bring it to room temperature before you roll it out.

Mixing Dough by Hand

Shape flour in a mound onto a large flat surface.

Make a well in the center.

Add any liquid ingredients and seasonings to the well.

Beat liquid ingredients with a fork, and then gently work the flour into the liquid until most of the flour is incorporated.

Mixture will become sticky and difficult to work with the fork; use your hands to shape dough into a ball.

Leave dough to rest for 10 minutes.

Knead dough until smooth and elastic, for approximately 10 minutes.

Divide dough into 3 or 4 balls; cover and leave rest 30 minutes.

Mixing Dough with a Food Procassor

Using metal blade of food processor, transfer all of the ingredients into the bowl.

Pulse until mixture begins to come together and shape into a ball.

Remove from bowl and knead dough lightly until smooth and elastic.

Divide the dough into 3 or 4 balls; cover and leave rest 30 minutes.

Mixing Dough with an Electric Mixer Dough Hook

Transfer all ingredients into a large mixer bowl.

Beat for approximately 5 minutes on medium speed, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl.

Remove dough from bowl when it shapes into a ball around dough hook.

Divide the dough into 3 or 4 balls; cover and leave rest 30 minutes.

Rolling out Dough by Hand

Lightly dust a clean surface with flour.

Put 1 ball of dough on the surface and keep remaining dough covered.

Using a rolling pin, begin to flatten the ball out from the center to the outer edge rotating dough one-quarter turn with each roll, to keep it in an even circle.

Flip dough over once or twice and dust it with flour to prevent sticking.

Roll out dough to about 1/16-inch [1.5-mm] thick or desired thickness, depending on the type of pasta you are making.

Transfer sheets of dough onto a lightly floured surface.

Rolling out Dough with a Pasta Machine

Take out 1 ball of dough at a time, keep the others covered.

Slightly flatten dough by hand.

Put it through the rollers of the pasta machine on the widest setting.

Lightly dust dough with flour as needed.

Reduce the space between the rollers by 1 or 2 settings [it is not necessary to put the rolled out dough through each setting so skip every other one, the sheets will become thinner and longer; cut them in half crosswise for easier handling].

Roll dough until of desired thickness for the recipe.

Transfer sheets of dough onto a lightly floured surface.

Cutting Dough bu Hand

Roll each sheet of pasta into a flat jellyroll shape.

Use a sharp knife to cut through the roll into desired width of strands.

Shake the strands out and arrange cut pieces over a wooden dowel or onto a dry towel.

Leave them to stand uncovered for 15 to 30 minutes before cooking, or for 3 to 4 hours to dry completely before storing.

Cutting Dough with a Pasta Machine

Put sheets of dough through desired cutting rollers.

Shake out strands and transfer cut pieces over a wooden dowel or onto a dry towel.

Leave them to stand uncovered for 15 to 30 minutes before cooking, or for 3 to 4 hours to dry completely before storing.

Storing Prepared Pasta

If you do not cook fresh pasta within a few hours, dry it well and store it tightly into a covered container into a cool, dry environment.