In this blog post, I’ll be showing you how to use our wonderful pasta machine which you can borrow for only £6.10 a week (or borrow this one for £2.05)! I have chosen to make vegan spaghetti, but you can find recipes easily online for fresh pasta with eggs, as well as recipes for tomato pasta, garlic pasta, herb pasta and more. Get creative! You can also use gluten free pasta flour!
What you will need:
- 1 cup plain flour*
- 1 cup semolina flour* (*Or you can use 2 cups of pasta flour, which is already mixed for you, much easier!)
- 1/2 TSP salt
- 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup water
Start by mixing your ingredients. Pour your flour into a bowl, make a little well and pour in the wet ingredients. Start mixing. If you feel it needs more liquid, add extra water in very small amounts. Make sure to knead it for a few minutes. Don’t worry if it doesn’t look well mixed. That is the beauty of this machine, it will mix it for you!
Rest your dough in the fridge for 30 minutes to let the gluten develop. During this time, it’s good to make sure your machine is clean before using it. Head to the end of this post to see how to do this. Please note: It is very important that you don’t use water or anything wet to clean it, as it will rust.
Next, get the machine ready, by inserting the handle into the hole of the right hand side (opposite side of the numbered dial). Then clamp the machine to your work surface, making sure the handle is hanging over the edge of the surface. Use the hole in this same side to attach the clamp.
Once the dough is rested and the machine is ready to go, set the dial on the left side (opposite the handle) to 1, by pressing the lever and turning at the same time. You will see the gap inside the machine change it’s width. You want to start with it on it’s widest gap. It will then lock in place.
Next take a handful of dough, about a tennis ball size. Roughly knead it flat so that one end will fit into the machine. You are now ready to start rolling!
The best way to do it is to hold the dough above the machine with your left hand and turn the lever with your right hand. The turning can a bit stiff at first, but as you work the dough, it will get easier. You will see the dough coming out on the side facing you. Use your left hand to guide this flattened dough out of the bottom.
Once you have worked the dough for the first time, it will have a funny shape. Simply fold in half and repeat step 4. Do this several times over, folding and rolling. It will start to take more if a neat rectangular shape and the colour will become more even. You can also try folding it length-ways and width-ways to get a more even shape.
Next, adjust the gap size by turning the dial to 3/4 to start with and then 5/6, repeating step 4. This will roll your dough out thinner. If you want thicker pasta, leave it at 3/4.
Then use the cutter to roll along the length of your rolled out dough. This will make sure the edges are straight and the width will fit the spaghetti/tagliatelle cutter. This is also good for making neat lasagna sheets. Any off cuts can be added to the next piece of dough to be worked through the machine. When a sheet is completed, make sure to sprinkle some flour on the top and bottom before piling up the sheets, to stop them sticking to eachother. This will also help the pasta keep its shape after cutting.
Now you can move onto the cutter attachments of the machine. Making sure they are clean, attach the 2 spaghetti/tagliatelle cutters on either side of the machines. It is important they are both attached, to balance the weight of the machine. They simply slip into place on the front and back of the machine.
Next choose what size spaghetti or tagliatelle you would like to make. I went for the smaller spaghetti. Remove the handle from the main part of the machine and attach it the hole on the side of your chosen cutter.
Grab one of the rolled out sheets and start feeding it into your chosen cutter, turning the handle. Put a bowl underneath the machine so that it catches the spaghetti as it comes out.
Almost there! Now put a pot of water on your stove to simmer. Once it is simmering gently, drop your pasta in. It will only need about 2-3 minutes, so keep an eye on it! Taste to see what softness your prefer. Drain the water and add your sauce! Voila!
I added a red wine and mushroom tomato sauce to my spaghetti, sprinkling fresh olives and plum tomatoes, and drizzling on some homemade pesto!
- To clean the machine, use paper towels or a DRY cloth to wipe down any dust, flour or oil, making sure to get into all the cracks. Do not use any water or fluid on the machine, as this will cause rust.
- To clean the main part of the machine, you can feed a paper towel through the gap.
- For the cutter parts, use the brush that is included in the set to get into all the cracks.
Clare is the new manager at SHARE:Frome. She studied a photography degree and is now looking into ways that we can reduce our impact on the environment as a community. She loves cooking vegan food, travelling, singing/songwriting and being outdoors.