Saturday, 27 October 2012

Egg Cornmeal Pasta

NAME: _Egg Cornmeal Pasta

INGREDIENTS/UTENSILS:
200g plain flour
50g maize corn flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp olive oil
5 eggs

METHOD:
Sift the corn flour and plain flour together into a mixing bowl, add the salt. Separate the yolks from three eggs, put in the bowl, and add the whites and yolks of two more eggs. Add the olive oil and knead to incorporate.

Keep kneading until it forms a stiff dough, then turn out onto a floured board and keep kneading down hard. You want to make this dough develop some gluten, so fold and press down hard, until it becomes somewhat stretchy. Roll it out into a noodle, simultaneously rolling and stretching, until you have a noodle about 1.5cm - 2cm thick and about 45cm long.

Cut into four sections, and roll out to the second-last setting on the pasta roller, then cut as required into strips, and hang for drying in a warm spot. See notes for more info.

When firmed up, boil in salted water for around 6 - 10 minutes depending on your cut and texture desired.

SERVING:
Serve as for any pasta with the sauce of your choice.

NOTES:
Cornflour doesn't develop gluten as well as plain flour or OO grade flour do, so this needs to be WELL kneaded and rolled, and the drying time is necessary.

The idea of the kneading is to start the glutens joining hands and making the dough stretchy and firm. Since there's not a lot of liquid to begin with, you really have to force the moisture into the flours. Adjust the consistency to a very stiff dry dough by adding plain flour if too wet, or a few drops of water at a time if too dry.

Knead by folding in half, then merging the layers together by pressing and sliding with the heel of the hand. Do this for a few minutes, folding and pressing, until you feel the texture change. At this stage, roll the dough into a ball and then roll and stretch the ball into the noodle shape and roll/stretch as described above.

Cooking the pasta - if you cooked it right away, the surface of the pasta would dissolve, followed by the rest of the pasta... By "drying" it off, the dough toughens up and will hold shape in the boiling water.

Cut the pasta into strips either with a knife or with the strip cutting attachment of the pasta roller. It's suggested to use the fettucine width (wider strips) because as mentioned this pasta has a lot of corn flour which weakens it. (Or use a sharp knife to cut strips around 5mm wide.)

Dry the pasta strips by draping them over chopsticks or thick skewers and balancing them between anything that gives enough height to stop the pasta dragging on the counter.

ENJOY!

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