My sister Patti and I took a trip to Huntsville, Alabama to visit my brother and his family and I knew I had to pack my camera. We didn’t talk in advance about shooting a recipe, but I knew there was a high probability Mike would be making his famous Homemade Pasta Using Semolina Or All-Purpose Flour.
You might remember Mike’s Tomato-Basil Sauce post which I then backed up with Mike’s 3 Egg Pasta Recipe. Well, today we’re making the pasta. It’s a late Saturday afternoon in Mike and Melody’s kitchen and the only thing on Mike’s mind, well maybe two things, was feeding us his homemade pasta and sauces and then a 7 o’clock football game. I think Alabama was playing (ha ha ha). It was so much fun cooking with Patti and Mike! You know me, sentimental about all that family stuff and then of course pictures of HANDS! So, between the three of us, there were hands everywhere and if you’ve made pasta before you know how helpful it is to have an extra set.
Homemade Pasta Using Semolina Or All-Purpose Flour
Mike made two batches, one using semolina flour and one using all-purpose flour. Semolina is a wheat flour made from durum wheat which is the hardest of all wheat. When durum wheat is milled, it’s endosperm is ground up and this is semolina. Whole grains are made up of three properties; endosperm, germ, and bran with endosperm making up 83%. Semolina has a coarse texture, and the color and the texture resemble cornmeal. Most grocery stores now carry semolina, although at one time this special variety of wheat flour could only be found in health food stores. Some would argue that semolina is the flour of choice in Italy. I strongly suggest trying semolina for your next batch of pasta. It’s rich flavor, and the buttery color is very noticeable. If you are interested in reading more about the health benefits and nutritional information on durum you can read an article by Appreciate.
Mixing and Kneading
In the top picture, you see Mike getting ready to mix the pasta. Of course, you can mix it in a bowl; this is his preferred method. When the mixture is combined, and most of the flour is incorporated, begin forming the dough by doing a series of folds and flattening while adding additional flour. Once the dough is formed and no longer moist to the touch, you can begin to knead. In the lower picture, Patti is kneading the semolina pasta dough. You can check your pasta dough by slicing into it, and if you see a lot of air bubbles, you’re not quite finished kneading. There should be very few air bubbles. My very experienced sister and brother had no problem knowing when the pasta dough was ready. We are talking perfection! When the pasta dough is formed, it’s divided into four equal parts. The picture below shows the dough divided and the difference in color between the semolina (hanging) and all-purpose flour (four pieces).
Rolling and Cutting
Mike has an Imperia Pasta Maker Machine, and even though he is a master at this machine, I believe he could make pasta in his sleep. The pasta maker has six different notches to guide you through the process. You begin with feeding one of the chunks of dough through the machine set on the widest notch. After you’ve fed it through a couple of times and the pasta dough is approximately twelve inches long, fold the dough into thirds and feed it through. You’re still on the widest notch, and you will do this folding in thirds and roll 3 times. Remember to heavily dust the dough on both sides with flour before it goes into the pasta maker. In the picture above, Mike is feeding in a piece that is folded in thirds.
Time To Move The Notches
After you’ve been on the thickest notch, it’s time to move your pasta through the settings. Roll the pasta through 2-3 times at each setting. If the piece of dough gets too long, you can cut it to a manageable length and continue rolling. Remember to continue dusting with flour throughout the process. In the picture below, Patti is holding the thinnest piece rolled.
Cut The Pasta
When all the dough is rolled, it’s time to cut. Choose your setting on the machine and then cut the long strands of dough to your preferred pasta length. 12 inches is a standard length. Feed the strand through and place the cut pasta in stacks or on a rack to dry. If you make stacks, remember to add a little flour, so the noodles do not stick together.
Cook The Pasta
The cut pasta can be cooked immediately, dried and stored in an air-tight container for several weeks or you can freeze for up to 3 months. If you are cooking the pasta right away, just bring a big pot of water to a boil with some added salt and for al dente boil 4-5 minutes. Please feel free to use the throw the noodle against the wall to test your pasta, that’s always fun. The recipe for the pasta is found here – Mike’s 2 Egg Pasta Recipe.
So tell me, do you make homemade pasta? Have you used semolina flour? I was very excited when I saw the nutritional information on it and will be picking some up.
Thanks so much for stopping by, Rose
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