So, last weekend Bo sat through a marathon of cooking shows with me (what a good sport), and he came away from it with a migraine and a request for manicotti with a meat sauce for dinner one night. Obliging wife that I am, I spent three and a half hours this weekend making it for him. I’ve made a mental note of this fact for down the road when I want another frivolous kitchen gadget.
The reason the manicotti took extra long was that I wanted to make my own pasta. This can be time consuming, but it is so, so good! It wouldn’t seem as cumbersome if I made extra and dried it, but I never seem to want to do that. I’m not quite sure why.
The high point of this pasta for me was that I finally found durum wheat semolina flour to use. I’d been on the hunt for this for over a year but could never find it. Turns out you should check out health food stores. This is a more traditional way to make the pasta, and most of the dried pasta in the supermarket is made using it. If you don’t have any or can’t find it though, you just replace it with all purpose.
You know what I haven’t talked about yet; the fact that this is a no knead pasta dough. Everything whips together in the food processor easy peasy. This is a big, big deal to me.
First off, put the flours and salt in the bowl of a food processor.
Give it a quick couple of pulses.
Add the eggs and olive oil.
Turn the machine on and let it do it’s thing for about 30 seconds until it comes together. If it’s still breaking apart like little pebbles, add a teaspoon of water, if it’s sticking to the side of the bowl, add a teaspoon of flour until you get the mixture right.
Dump the dough onto your work surface.
Give it a quick knead (ok, ok, so it’s not no knead dough, but this takes less then ten seconds to do). Wrap it in plastic wrap and leave it on the counter at room temperature for 30 minutes before you start rolling it out.
Out of the plastic wrap, I squish it down to about half an inch thick.
Then I cut it into 6 pieces to put through the rollers.
Squish each piece as thin as you can (you’re aiming for 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick to fit easily into the rollers on the first go).
It helps to have an Oliver on hand to do the squishing. Bonus points for the Lightening McQueen tattoo. Ka-chow!
Now it’s time to get rolling. I’m making lasagna noodles today that I’ll roll around my manicotti filling. You always start on the 1 setting of your rollers and work your way up (the higher the number, the thinner the pasta). I’m going to 3 today so there’s still some substance to it.
To make the dough wider fold it in half length wise after it’s gone through the roller already, then put it through again. (you want it to end up going from one side of the rollers to the other to get a 6” width on all your pieces). Run the dough through each number at least a couple of times.
If your ends are really pointy, fold the dough like an envelope then run it through the rollers again.
An Oliver is quite helpful when rolling out the dough as well.
Though he’s still learning that it’s not necessary to pull the dough through the rollers.
It is helpful to have someone ready to catch it at the bottom though. Where was he last year when I made linguini and most of it ended up on the floor because I wasn’t fast enough.
Here’s my first sheet done. I’m not too worried about the ends being rounded in this case because I’m going to trim them down to 5” x 6” rectangles.
Once you’ve cut out all your rectangles, mix the scraps together and re-roll them. I got an additional 4 pieces from them.
Here are all my rectangles cut out
Rough edges are beautiful and rustic, don’t let anyone else tell you differently. So is chipped nail polish 4 hours after doing them because you decided to make fresh pasta.
Somewhere around my third sheet I lost my helper. Apparently it was time for a freezie break.
Here’s your printable:
- 1 cup semolina flour
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 pinch salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Put the flour and salt into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a couple of times to combine.
- Add the eggs and olive oil to the food processor and turn on, letting run for about 30 seconds until the dough comes together around the blades. If it is dry and pebbly looking, add one tsp of water at a time and pulse. If it is wet and sticking to the sides of the bowl, add flour a tsp at a time and pulse until the desired consistency is met. You want the dough to be a little bit stiff, but easy to form into a smooth shape.