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Getting over your fear of making homemade pasta

Pasta seems to be one of the dishes that most people enjoy. Regardless of whether you are adding a tomato-based sauce or a creamy sauce or perhaps even having your pasta plain it is one dish that you can serve to most people. It is one of the reasons why you will find an Italian Restaurant in Dublin like will have a variety of pasta dishes as standard on their menu.

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One of the reasons why pasta in a restaurant tastes so much better than when you prepare it at home (other than the fact that it will have been prepared by a highly skilled and talented chef) is that fresh pasta will be used as standard in the restaurant Now whilst I would always advocate visiting a restaurant to enjoy the best there is in pasta dishes there are some occasions when eating at home is the only option available to you. This shouldn’t mean however that you have to compromise on quality.

Making your own pasta at home is not as daunting as it first sounds, and it only really requires three basic ingredients that most of us have lying around in our kitchen most of the time. All you need is some all-purpose flour, eggs and salt. If you have “00” flour in your cupboard then this will make a silkier textured pasta.

To make the pasta you put the required amount of flour onto your surface and create a small well in the middle. You then crack the eggs into this well and work them into the flour using a fork. This is the method that has been used for years and as with most things the old methods are sometimes the best. Before you are tempted to add more water or flour to your mixture you should mix it well and also begin the kneading process. You should always knead your pasta dough with slightly damp hands. You should knead the dough until it is as smooth as it can possible be.

Once you have sufficiently kneaded the dough you need to allow it to rest. This allows the gluten strands that you have built up during the kneading to settle again. When neglecting to rest the dough you will find that the pasta is hard to roll out and work with. A good quality recipe will give you the resting time that is appropriate for the type of pasta you are creating.

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After resting you can then roll out your pasta and cut it into whatever shapes that you desire or roll through a pasta machine to create spaghetti or tagliatelle style strands as well as larger lasagne sheets.

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