Do you want to make pasta like a true Italian? Are you looking to give your classic pasta recipe a new twist? From seasoned experts to those just learning the basics of pasta, this short guide will tell you everything about making the best pasta dish!
- What makes the best pasta?
- How to make the best Semolina Pasta?
- What is the secret to making good pasta?
- What can I add to my pasta to make it better?
- More about Semolina Pasta
- Semolina Pasta Recipes
What makes the best pasta?
If you ask any pasta maker what ingredient makes the best pasta, they’ll likely say Durum Semolina Flour. As homemade pasta makers, We completely agree! Semolina flour is a type of flour made from Durum wheat. Professionals consider Durum wheat a “hard” type, which creates a coarse textured flour when it’s milled.
This coarse flour is Semolina, and it’s used to create Semolina Pasta. The word Semolina is derivative of the Italian word "Semolino", meaning bran. Bran refers to the pieces of grain husks that's separated during the milling process.
There’s lots of different pasta flours, but Semolina is considered one of the best to use especially for pasta by hand making. Another flour that may be used to create pasta is all purpose flour or 00 flour. However this type of flour requires more prepwork and is generally better for baked goods. You can read more about the differences in the two flours in our blog “Semolina Pasta: Why it’s Better”.
How to make the best Semolina Pasta
Dagostino’s has a very special process of making semolina pasta. We start with adding our Semolina to the pasta machine, then it’s carried up to the agler. From there, we start the pasta maker and choose the mixing speed and width setting.
The width setting ranges from very narrow for our birdseye pasta to Lasagna, the widest setting. We then connect our water pump, which carries artisanal spring water to our semolina. We then add more Semolina or more water to achieve the desired thickness and texture depending on which pasta we’re making.
Unlike other pasta making techniques we do not fold the dough or knead the dough by hand. When our mixture is perfect, we extrude it through a bronze die. This is much different than a hand cranked pasta machine that requires you to cut the pasta. Some prefer rolling and cutting pasta on a cutting board but our bronze die creates a delicate texture that makes pasta extra tasty.
As the pasta comes out of the bronze die in the right shape it’s cut and we place it in our wooden cellars. The pasta is put to rest at room temperature in the wooden cellars for 72 hours, until it has become fully dried pasta.
What is the secret to making good pasta?
There are a few tips and tricks to making a good pasta dish. One secret that we love to share is the magic of pasta water. As your pasta is finishes boiling and has reached al dente, take a measuring cup and reserve about 1-2 cups of the remaining water. As you continue to cook your pasta dish slowly add small amounts of the water to your sauce. The starch in the water from your freshly boiled pasta allows the pasta to merge and stick to the sauce better. When it does, it makes a cohesive and delicious pasta dish.
Some pasta recipes depend on pasta water to make the sauce, like this cheesy and savory pasta salad recipe.
What can I add to my pasta to make it better?
There are tons of fresh and exciting ingredients you can add to elevate your sauce and pasta dish!
Keep in mind that most recipes call for ingredients from this list.
Here’s a list of the most common ingredients you can add to your pasta and sauce:
- Onions and Garlic, duh!
- Olive oil
- Fresh basil
- Dried herbs, like thyme, oregano, rosemary, basil and parsley
- Ground beef or Italian sausage
- Fresh tomatoes
- Crushed tomatoes, or fresh tomatoes crushed in a food processor
- Red pepper flakes for some spice
- Freshly grated cheeses to top your dish
- Freshly baked bread to serve on the side
More about Semolina pasta
Semolina is high in protein, fiber, iron, and B vitamins. This ingredient can support weight loss, heart health and digestion in some cases. Protein and fiber can slow digestion, which can make you feel fuller for longer. B vitamins help convert food into energy, and Semolina contains B vitamins like folate and thiamine.
Semolina is known to be a good source of non-heme iron. Iron aids in transporting oxygen through the body as well as preventing anemia. With all things in life, we recommend enjoying Semolina in moderation.
Semolina Pasta Recipes
Try some of our easy 30 minutes pasta recipes!: