Pasta Making for Kiddies
Stuck for something to do this weekend? Fran from Wyld Cookery shares with us this fantastic recipe for pasta making. Something super fun for you and your children to do together!
Fran knows her stuff! Fran trained at Leiths School of Food and Wine. She worked as a private chef, consultant and has taught cookery for a number of years. She has teamed up with Heidi Skudder from The Parent and Baby Coach, to run workshops for mothers and fathers, to educate them on best to to start the weaning journey and deal with toddler eating behaviours.
Making pasta dough is easier than you think…you ideally want to use ‘00’ flour, this is a finely milled all purpose flour and is available in most supermarkets. If you can’t get hold of ‘00’ flour then you can just use plain flour. The texture of the result isn’t quite the same but it works!
These quantities are per person (adults) so you may want to halve for kiddies unless they can devour pasta until the cows come home like mine!
1 large egg
100g 00 flour
So, 4 adults would use 4 eggs and 400g ‘00’ flour
Method - the simplest (& most fun) method is the old fashioned way.
1. Sift the flour onto a clean table (preferable not wooden as it will all get stuck in the grooves), oil cloth table cloths or stone surfaces are ace!
2. Make a well, with walls (like a castle!) around the edges
3. Crack your egg(s) into the middle and whisk up (gently!) with a fork – keep the egg in your castle!
4. Now it’s time to get your hands dirty…using your fingertips slowly and VERY carefully start to mix the egg, gradually bringing the flour from the sides in as you do it.
5. When all the flour and egg are mixed in it will look like a big rough and floury lump - great!
6. Now it is time to knead. Do this for about 10 minutes – grown ups may need to help here.
7. You will see it transform to being silky and smooth. Wrap it in cling film and rest in the fridge for 30 mins.
Pasta can be rolled by hand or by using a machine. The latter is easier but obviously not everyone has one knocking around! You can pick up pasta machines for about £20 but if it is something you love making then I can personally recommend the Imperia one though it’s a little pricer at £70.
I am going to assume people don’t have a pasta machine. If you do follow the box instructions or I am sure google will help you. It’s super straightforward.
For those who don’t have a machine here are my hand rolling instructions for tagliatelle – the simplest!
1. Unwrap your dough and cut into even manageable size pieces – this will depend on how much you have made but as a guide if you have made a 2 egg recipe cut in half. Take one piece and wrap the others back up so they don’t dry out.
2. Flour your surface and take a rolling pin and lightly flour that too. Start to roll the dough out with the aim of getting a rectangular shape. You will notice it springs back a lot at first but push on through as the more you roll and the thinner it gets the less this happens. You are aiming to get the pasta thin enough that you can maybe see newspaper print through it – about 2mm. If at any point it gets sticky just add a little more flour – don’t go overboard as you don’t want it to dry out either!
3. When you have a rough rectangle, make sure the top is lightly floured too.
4. Put the rectangle with the longest edges horizontally and the short edges to your right and left. Fold the two short edges to the middle and then fold the two new outside edges to the middle as well to make a ‘book’.
5. Turn 90 degrees and, using a sharp knife cut 1cm strips all along the block.
6. Unfold and you should have a long tagliatelle!
7. Pop over a jug or on a rack to dry and repeat with the other blocks.
You can cook it straight away or leave it to dry and then cook at a later date.
To cook bring a large pan of (salted for adults) water to the boil, pop the pasta in and cook for 4 minutes, drain and mix with pesto to serve.