Posted on : 12/10/2016
Exeter Cookery School’s top cheffy tips for making pasta
There is nothing more satisfying than making pasta. But, like baking your own bread, making pasta is an art. Indeed, the two processes share many common elements: the mixing of the ingredients, fingers caked in sticky dough, flour everywhere, the kneading and the shaping…
Here are 10 top cheffy tips from Exeter Cookery School chef / tutor and co-founder, Jim Fisher, on how to make good pasta from scratch.
Jim’s top cheffy tips
1 You don’t need to use a specialist pasta flour – plain flour will be just fine.
2 Use great, fresh, free range eggs. We use eggs from Laydilay Organic Eggs and Exe Valley Eggs, but there are other really great egg producers in the South West.
3 Use good quality Italian olive oil – this is less harsh than Spanish varieties.
4 You can make equally good pasta by hand or in a mixer. However, we feel it is more satisfying by hand.
5 Don’t make the dough too wet.
6 Knead your pasta really well, 5 minutes by hand or 2 minutes in the food processor. We use Bosch small appliances and can thoroughly recommend them for use in your home.
7 When putting through rollers, make sure you keep everything lightly floured otherwise it will stick and pull.
8 For spaghetti, tagliatelle and lasagna, you can make the pasta slightly thicker, but for ravioli you need to get it really thin. Ideally, it should be thin enough to see newsprint through.
9 If making ravioli, make sure you expel all the air and seal the edges well and make sure all fillings are well seasoned and flavoursome. If it tastes ok for seasoning on the spoon, it won’t be flavourful enough in the ravioli, so pump up the flavour.
10 Cook your pasta in the largest pan you have and in plenty of boiling water.
Then all you have to do is add a simple sauce such as home-made tomato, ragu, pesto, carbonara or anything that takes your fancy.
Learn to make pasta at Exeter Cookery School
Our half day pasta cookery course is extremely popular. It gives a thorough understanding of the different types of flour used for pasta, the names of different shapes and why they differ. You’ll make pasta dough by hand and by machine and shape it using a variety of methods. If you want more cheffy tips and tricks, book onto an Exeter Cookery course today.
Exeter Cookery School is located at 60a Haven Road, Exeter, EX2 8DP