How to make pasta shapes

how to make pasta shapes

So you have mastered making pasta from scratch, you have even made coloured pasta – now to turn it up and make pasta shapes!

Pappardelle

[pap·par·del·le]

broad flat noodle

Dust the top of the dough sheet with flour and loosely roll into a cylinder. Using a sharp knife, cut into 2cm-thick slices. Unroll the noodles, dust with semolina and gently toss to separate. Place on a baking tray and cover with a tea towel until ready to cook. To cook, follow pasta tips on page 049 and cook pappardelle for no longer than 3–4 minutes. 

To dry the pasta for storage, hang over a chair or broom handle until completely dry. Drying times vary greatly, depending on humidity and temperature. Store in an airtight container. 

Garganelli 

[gar-ga-nel-li]

tubes

With a sharp knife, cut the sheet of dough into 3.5cm squares. With the square facing you as a diamond, lay a pen or a pencil across the corner closest to you, lengthways. Wrap the corner of the pasta around the pen or pencil, and, with a little pressure, push it away from you, until you have made a tube. Slide the pasta off and repeat. Place on a baking tray and cover with a tea towel until ready to cook. To cook, follow pasta tips on page 049 and cook garganelli for no longer than 3–4 minutes. To dry the pasta for storage, leave covered until completely dry, turning over now and then to dry both sides. Drying times vary greatly, depending on humidity and temperature. Store in an airtight container. 

Farfalle 

[farh-fah-leh]

butterflies

With a sharp knife, cut the sheet of dough into rectangles, about 3.5cm x 1.5cm. Pinch the centre of the long side of each rectangle to create little bows. Place on a baking tray and cover with a tea towel until ready to cook. To cook, follow pasta tips on page 049 and cook farfalle until it rises to the top of the water. To dry the pasta for storage, leave covered until completely dry, turning over now and then to dry both sides. Drying times vary greatly, depending on humidity and temperature. Store in an airtight container.

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PERFECTO!

Pasta Tips

How much is enough?

• Packet pasta 100g / 3.5oz per person

• Fresh pasta 130g / 4.6oz per person

Oil is a no-go!

Adding oil to the water, to stop the pasta sticking, will actually stop the sauce sticking to the pasta, too.

Water-to-pasta ratio.

The rule of thumb is at least 3L / 6.5pt of cold, fresh water to every 250g / 8.8oz of pasta.

Salty like the sea.

Salting the water is the only chance you’ve got to season the pasta. The old-school pasta people say that the water needs to “taste like the sea”. Pop 1 tbsp of salt into your 3L / 6.5pt of water.

It’s gotta be boiling.

Bring the water to a boil before adding the pasta. Pasta added too soon will be sad and soggy.

Give it a stir.

As soon as you pop your pasta in, give it a stir. This stops the pasta sticking together and to the pot. Give it a stir every now and then while cooking, too.

Do what the packet says.

When making packet pasta, follow the cooking time on the packet. Test the pasta about 2 minutes before the indicated time, just to be safe. You want your pasta ‘al dente’.

What’s ‘al dente’?

Cooked al dente (al-den-tay) literally means ‘to the tooth’ which is how to test pasta to see if it’s properly cooked. The pasta should be a little bit firm, offering some resistance to the tooth.

Save some water.

Before you drain your pasta, ladle a cup of cooking water into a bowl and save it for your sauce.

Don’t rinse the pasta!

Drain your pasta enough to remove the water, but don’t rinse it under the tap. You’ll remove the starches from the outside of the pasta, which will stop the sauce from sticking.

Pasta to the sauce, not sauce to the pasta.

Make sure your sauce is in a big enough pan to hold both the sauce and the pasta. Add pasta to the sauce immediately after it’s drained. If you let it sit in the sink too long it will become sticky and gluey. And there’s no going back from there. 

Add saved water.

When you add the pasta to your sauce, pop in the saved cooking water. This helps the sauce stick to the pasta and adds extra flavour. 

Ready to eat? Check out our super easy pasta recipes!

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