Making Pasta with The Food Nerd
Like making bread, hydrating dried beans and all of the other traditional ways to create meals from scratch, making pasta is a lost art. Preparing food is all about convenience for many people. As Food Nerds, The Cutting Board Academy’s intent as with all of our educational programming is to reteach the “lost arts” of preparing meals to everyone- all while exploring the sciences and processing of various foods along the way. We discover these learnings in many of our Eat to Live workshops and programming with children and their families from groups and organizations like The Girl Scouts of Northeast Ohio and the Cleveland Clinic. Participants walk away with a new skill under their belt and a better understanding of the foods we eat. So let’s talk about Pasta!
How to make pasta/Ingredient functionality
Pasta is made with just 4 ingredients:
Flour- Provides structure for the pasta dough. Traditional flours used are Semolina/Durum. Additional flours made from grains like Rice, Buckwheat and Barley can be used to make pasta as well.
Water- Binds the flour and other ingredients together.
Eggs- Also binds the flour together; the fat from the yolks creates a soft and smooth texture in the finished pasta.
Salt/Flavor- Primarily provides flavor and controls the development of gluten in the dough. Other flavors like spinach and beet powders can also be added for flavor and provide color as well.
These ingredients are combined and kneaded together into a dough and formed with a rolling pin or a pasta machine into a variety of noodles and shapes like spaghetti, macaroni, fusilli, ravioli, fettuccini, etc.
Is there a difference between boxed and fresh pasta?
Nope. Not a huge difference. Generally, all pastas (fresh and dried) are made from the same base ingredients. The extent of drying makes the difference.
- Mechanical Dryer– uses moving air (at varying temperatures and speeds) to completely dry larger quantities of pasta in a short period time. This form of drying is typically used for boxed pasta products- creating longer shelf stability compared to fresh pasta.
- Manual– tools like pasta racks are used to allow the formed noodles to drape and dry while preventing them from sticking. Mesh or aerated sheet pans are used to manually dry other shapes of pasta like farfalle (bowtie) or ravioli.
Make some pasta for yourself!
Are you interested in having The Cutting Board Academy facilitate a Culinary Science workshop/activity for your group or organization? Contact the Food Nerds at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 216-282-5422.