Friday, 10 April 2009

Flour Power

I made some pasta a couple of weeks ago. I hadn't made any for ages and ages. I got my pasta machine down and dusted off my custom-made pasta drier - which is quite unique and rather stylish being made from two types of wood and having a swivel mechanism for folding it away. My late father-in-law made this for me and I treasure it. Anyway, back to the pasta. It was good, but not as good as I remembered it being the last time I made it - it was quite thick and heavy. The mistake I made and it was a BIG mistake, was I had used flour which purported to be 'suitable for for bread and pasta making' Oh not it's not - not suitable for pasta anyway - thank you Waitrose. (My thanks at this point to The Graphic Foodie for diagnosing the problem - it's best to use 'double zero' flour which is very finely milled) In fairness to myself I had tried to buy 00 flour but couldn't find any where I was shopping and didn't have time to go elsewhere.

My second attempt this weekend with the right flour was sooo much better - in fact I'd go as far as saying it was bloody marvellous. I now know why I used to make it on a more regular basis. I made a smoked bacon, garlic and courgette tomato sauce to go with it.


  1. Wow that looks so good Jan. I have to start making Pasta - is that an Imperia machine?

  2. Thanks Dan, yes it is. I've had it for years. They're sturdy buggers!

  3. Fresh pasta is my nemesis. I've never got it quite right.

    If there's one thing guaranteed to send the kids running for cover, it's when I announce that I fancy making some fresh pasta.

    "Dad's going to get grumpy and shout a lot".

    Your pasta drying contraption is inspirational, though. A thing of simplicity and beauty. I love it when people see a problem and build a contraption to solve it. These people are geniuses.

    I normally use an old broom handle propped between works surfaces. The pasta is always too long and heavy to support itself, and it snaps as it dries, ending up on the floor.

    Cue more swearing.

  4. Yay, Ample Cook! Well done, looks delicious.

    I love the pasta drier, utterly beautiful. We also have a ton of homemede wooden cookware at home - I think we even have a big carved fork my late grandfather made to hook out the spaghetti and the board for rolling the pasta out is still going strong 40 years later! Great memories and family treasures.

  5. The drying pasta looks like sculpture - beautiful and delicious!

  6. Oh to have a pasta-hanging-type-contraption, last time I made fresh pasta I didn't dry for long enough and ended up fishing a ball of clumped tagliatelle out of the pan. Your dish looks very good indeed. Thanks for the comments on the Wild Garlic blog.

  7. When I saw the picture I immediately wanted to ask you where you got that pasta dryer because I've been looking for one for ages and it seems the only way to get one is by ordering online.

    I've made fresh pasta twice now and I haven't been happy with it. It was just too heavy. Funny that, because when it's raw it's light and looks right but as soon as I cook it it sets out and becomes caca. I also used Waitrose's flour.....Where do I get the 00 stuff??