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Homemade Pasta: Tips and Recipes

Making homemade pasta is fun and a lot easier than most people think. Don't be put off by the hardware of pasta machines. They are just like any other kitchen device that lets you create interesting and delicious food - and they aren't always necessary. Anyone can make pasta, and we hope you'll give it a try. We offer pasta-making classes if you want some guidance or practice before investing in pasta supplies.

Setting the Scene

You don't want to feel rushed, so plan a time that works for you. It could be a weekend morning or a rainy afternoon, whenever you will feel relaxed and ready to create! It also helps to have a pasta partner. This could be a great romantic or friend date. You could plan an afternoon of pasta-making and an evening of pasta-eating with a group of friends.

What You'll Need

As our Demuths team member Monica points out, you don't need a machine to make pasta at home. She and her sister made an outstanding chestnut flour pasta by rolling the dough very thin and cutting it with a pizza slicer. This is more laborious than using a machine, though. So if you really love pasta you might want to consider treating yourself!

If you decide to invest in a pasta machine, the golden rule is never to wash it. It will rust and be ruined. To clean simply brush off any flour or dried dough with a pastry brush. Store in a dry place in its box, and it will help you make pasta for life!

Choosing Your Flour

Pasta flour is made from durum wheat, which is a ‘hard’ wheat with a high protein and gluten content. In Italy, flour is know by type - 1, 0, or 00 - which refers to how finely the flour has been milled. Type 1 is coarse and type 00 (doppia zero) is super-fine. You will need to buy 00 or 0 pasta flour. At the cookery school we like Doves Farm organic pasta flour.

Pale yellow semolina is also made from durum wheat and is essential to stop the dough sticking to the table or pasta machine. Medium semolina is ideal for making pasta.

Notes on Ravioli

We love teaching how to make ravioli because there are endless options for fillings, and they offer a terrific opportunity for showing off the season's vegetables. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • When you make the ravioli, its essential that you squeeze all the air out as you fold the pasta over the filling, otherwise they can explode when you cook them.
  • The ravioli fillings are up to you. In spring we love wild garlic and ricotta. Make sure you season the filling very well as otherwise the ravioli will be bland.
  • When cooking the ravioli, salt the water generously. There's no need to add oil.
  • Serve cooked pasta straight away with a simple sage butter or a salsa verde.
  • Freeze any extra un-cooked ravioli. It only takes a couple of minutes more to cook straight from frozen.

Making Squash Ravioli

Recipes

Here are some recipes to get you inspired and making your own pasta for friends and family!

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