Al Dente: Making Fresh Pasta With A Pasta Machine

4 February 2016
 Categories: , Blog

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There's nothing quite like the taste and texture of freshly made pasta. High quality restaurants make their own pasta from scratch using a piece of food equipment called a pasta making machine. These machines are simple to use and if operated properly, will create incredible handmade noodles that customers will enjoy. Here are some simple steps for using a pasta machine correctly to ensure that your next batch comes out perfectly.

Preparation

Depending on your restaurant's recipe, make a batch of pasta dough and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight. Doing this will give it a better texture to work with and keep it from cracking or ripping when you run it through the machine. When you're ready to make the pasta, sprinkle some flour onto the counter before flattening the pasta dough with a rolling pin. The flour will help prevent it from sticking. The dough should be no thicker than about one inch in order to ensure that it comes out to the right consistency. The pasta machine should be securely attached to the counter so it doesn't move or shift as you run it through. 

Using The Machine

After you've rolled the dough, it will need to be run through the pasta making machine. The first run through should be done with the machine rollers on the widest, most open setting. The machine has rollers inside that smooth it out and flatten the dough into pasta sheets. Use the attached crank to get the rollers moving, and slowly feed the flattened dough through the machine. Repeat this process about three more times, adding more flour to the dough if you notice any sticking as you go. Once you've done this a few times, you can close the gap between the rollers to press it down even thinner and stretch the dough.

Final Steps

Keep in mind that you don't want the pasta to be too thin or else it will snap or break, and thin pasta won't provide that delicious al dente bite when eaten. Once you've gotten the pasta dough to the consistency you want, it's time to cut the noodles. A high quality pasta making machine should also have a cutting attachment you can use to create perfect noodles. Using the cutting attachment, slowly roll the sheet through the machine and it should cut the dough into perfect strips. Let the pasta dry for a few minutes before cooking. Your machine should have several different cutting options so you can make a variety of fresh pasta in different widths and shapes.