Making beautiful fresh pasta at home

I recently spent a lovely day making fresh pasta in the beautiful home of Carmela's Kitchen. Carmela teaches Italian cookery from her family kitchen in Northampton, be that pasta, meat, fish or desserts, you're sure to find a class of interest. On top of this she teaches and demo's at the Italian Shop and Bay Tree Cottage as well as running large events for up to 70 people at a time!
For details on upcoming classes, visit Carmela's Kitchen

First up we had to start by making the basic pasta dough (recipe below). It's so inexpensive to make and goes an unbelievably long way, I have since bought myself a pasta machine and vow to make it more often with the help of my 2 boys.

Messy but fun! Me having a go at mixing the pasta dough!!

Adding some fresh herbs to pasta sheets, so simple and so tasty...  

 From pasta sheets to beautiful herby tagiatelle

Next up, adding a filling of ricotta, spinach and a touch of nutmeg to sheets, fold over to make little pillows...

cut into ravioli...

 or use a cookie cutter to make crescents...

 then bring the corners together and we have tortellini!!

We also used a gnocchi board to make rigatoni and little bite size pasta gnocchi 

Recipe for basic pasta dough (feeds 4)
What you will need
400g Flour OO
Large pinch of salt
4 Free range eggs

1. On the board tip on the flour and make a small well in the middle. I don't normally beat the eggs first.
2. Crack all four eggs into the well and add a generous pinch of salt.
3. Use your fingers to start combining the eggs into the flour, then work it in to a ball. Work the dough once formed for about 7 minutes, until silky and smooth. You can use a dough hook on your mixer, but i love making pasta by hand.
4. Leave the dough on the board and cover it with a clean tea towel or tip a bowl over it so the air doesn't get in, and leave for half an hour to rest.
5. Set the pasta machine up. Cut the dough ball in half.
6. Feed the first half through the pasta machine. Feed it through the machine about 10 times, until it is thin, (the Italians say that you should be able to read a newspaper through the pasta sheet).
7. Once the pasta has passed through the machine and is a thin sheet, you can then go ahead and make your pasta of choice.

Think I'm pretty pleased with my little spinach and ricotta tortellini!

Happy baking xx

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