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the perfect pasta/noodle?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

i lovemaking home made pasta but i was wondering if i could get some worthy advice from possibly a pasta conessieur. i am looking for a great quality taste but also quality ingredients.  i am leaning towards organic without any preserves. if you had a choice to include healthy ingredients into your everyday pasta, what would they be.  any suggestions on what your ideal pasta would consist of and taste like?


also, if you know any brands that make this sort of thing or have any idea where to buy some please let me know.  your help is most appreciated.

post #2 of 4

I'm confused. Are you talking about making noodles or cooking premade ones in a sauce? I'm just not sure which sort of ingredients you're looking for.

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

both, really.  i'm interested in either making them or buying them.  if you have experience in both then please recommend for each ingredients used and the brand you normally buy when you dont have time to make pasta.

post #4 of 4

Well, when I make noodles, there are two basic varieties: egg pasta, essentially Italian-style, and eggless Japanese wheat noodles (udon).


For egg noodles, I usually use quality unbleached all-purpose flour. I like King Arthur flours because they're so amazingly consistent. They also have a little more gluten than something like Pillsbury, which makes for bouncier noodles. I'll put 2 generous cups of flour in a processor, crack in 2 eggs, and pulse it to mix. Then, with the motor running, I stream in cool water slowly until the dough just barely forms a ball. Take it out, knead a little bit until smooth, and wrap in a plastic bag. That goes in the fridge for an hour or so. From there I usually roll out the noodles in sheets with a hand-crank machine.


For udon, I use a different system. Again, unbleached all-purpose flour. I take 2 generous cups, which is 350g of flour. Then I weigh out 175g of cool water (that's a generous 2/3 cup) and stir a teaspoon of non-iodized salt into it until fully dissolved. Add the salt water to the flour in a stand mixer bowl, stir just until a little moistened, and then run it with the dough hook on low speed for 1 minute until it's all just moistened and clumping. Cover the bowl with plastic for 20 minutes or so to distribute the moisture evenly (this is called autolyzing, I believe), and then run it on medium speed for 5 minutes. Check to be sure that it's smooth and just barely tacky, then run another 10 minutes on medium speed. This greatly overkneads the dough, making it tough and rubbery, which is what you want with udon. Press out the dough into a rough disc, put in a bag, and refrigerate for 2 hours. Then roll. I generally hand-roll udon.


So basically there are only four ingredients in normal pasta: water, flour, sometimes salt, sometimes egg. Ideally the water should be very pure and rather soft. I like King Arthur unbleached all-purpose flour, but you can use semolina or soba flour, pure or in some proportion to other flour, for different kinds of noodles. The salt should be un-iodized, the egg fresh and excellent.


I remain slightly stuck with your question. Does this answer it at all? I have a feeling it doesn't, but I'm not quite sure what you're looking for.

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