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Primo ingredients = Primo pasta

December 3, 2012

An important thing to remember in the kitchen: crap begets crap. If you use shit ingredients (low quality, sub-par, wrong, expired) your result is going to be quite similar to their initial composition. It’s like using rotten eggs in a cake and expecting it to be delicious. Eat that, and then get back to me.

Quality doesn’t always have to mean expensive. Okay, most of the time it does, but in the case of pasta, you can use supermarket ingredients and produce awesome results. Make sure that your ingredients are fresh and that they are the right ones.

When you make a mental list of different types of flours, what ones come to mind? If the “white, powdery one in my pantry” is your only response, don’t worry. Here’s a crash course on some flours that can be used to make pasta.

All purpose flour. That is surely the white, powdery stuff that you were talking about. If you don’t want to make a special trip to the store for some special flour, this one can be used on its own. You can be a little daring and mix it with others to create a different texture and flavor. Try to shy away from, if you can, any flour that has been chemically bleached. I like knowing the composition of things that I am ingesting. And I know that I prefer to ingest chemicals in other ways besides in my flour. Oh, you like to OD on information instead? Here’s some information about flour, you square.

Semolina flour works great, and the finer the texture, the better. This yellow grain can be used in breads, pizzas (my fave), and in your pasta. My supermarkets here are kind of lame in the realm of stocking unique ingredients. I usually don’t have a problem finding it here. Bob’s Red Mill is a brand to go for if you’re checking your local market out.

00 flour is common in Italy for making pasta. Well, I’m not in Italy, am I? No, I’m not. King Arthur Flour knows this, and they’ve stolen the Italian’s secret recipe and copied it. Well, not exactly, but they do have their own Italian-Style Flour that produces the silky results this flour is famous for. Although this flour doesn’t have the checkered past I long for when obtaining ingredients (or when choosing a suitor during my teenage years), it gets the job done. Plus, it’s shipped to my door. Huzzah!

Other flours. Any flour that you find, and are curious about whether or not it will work for pasta, is worth trying out. Pasta is cheap to make, easy to assemble, and simple to throw away with none the wiser if it tastes horrendous. If there is a type of flour that you want to try, but it’s kind of expensive, do some research on it. Find a recipe, besides the pasta one, that uses it. Versatile products are always worth a buy, I tell myself. If you still can’t think of any others to use, besides the powdery white one still, check out some message boards on chowhound.

Stay away from pre-mixed flours like King Arthur’s Perfect Pasta Blend. You may ask what’s wrong with me, since I tout the company just minutes before, and shun them in this one. Well, they shouldn’t take all the blame, since many companies do this to try to capitalize on those who could be called “lazy in the kitchen.” Make your own damn pasta flour blend. It will be perfect, since you were the one who made it. Start picking some of the ready-made ones up to check ingredients to get ideas on what blends they use. It’s cheaper, and you can tell people that you use your own blend of flour to make your dough, making you a veritable bad-ass in the kitchen. I’m pretty sure that’s everyone’s dream, isn’t it?

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From → Pasta Maker

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