Saffron Semolina Pasta

A basic semolina pasta infused with saffron.  The semolina adds a little bite to your pasta’s texture, and increases the protein content of the pasta while imparting a slightly nutty flavor.  The saffron is a splendid way to dress up your pedestrian pasta into something exotically wonderful – after all, if you are going to go through the entire process of making your own pasta you may as well create something slightly unusual.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 tsp Saffron
  • 1/4 cup boiling Water
  • 3 Eggs (at room temperature)
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 1 cup Semolina

Directions:

  1. Pour the boiling water over the saffron, and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, add the semolina and regular flour into a food processor.
  3. Whisk the eggs into the saffron water until fully combined.
  4. Run the food processor while gradually pouring the eggs into the flours.
  5. The dough should come together in the food processor, but if it is still too dry to fully form the dough add a couple of tbsp of water.  The dough should not be sticky, just wet enough to come together.
  6. Form the dough into a ball, and set it on the counter with an upside-down glass bowl over it.
  7. Leave the dough there for 20-30 minutes.  You want to give the dough enough time for the gluten to develop, but you do not want the dough to dry out to much, hence, the overturned glass bowl.  Making your own pasta is a balancing act between keeping the dough moist enough to be malleable, but dry enough that it doesn’t stick together or to the pasta machine.IMG_3240
  8. Remove the bowl, and use a sharp knife to cut your pasta into eights.
  9. Take one of the eights of dough to work with first, and then replace the glass bowl over the remaining seven segments.
  10. Use a rolling pin to thin out the dough fragment slightly before passing it through the pasta machine.  You can roll your dough out thinly by hand if you do not have a pasta machine, but it is a lot of work and requires some serious muscle power to get the dough thin enough.
  11. Pass the dough through the machine one segment at the time into long sheets.  Dust lightly with flour as required, but use the flour sparingly.
  12. Place the thin sheets on pasta drying racks, and allow them to dry for about a hour before using the machine or a sharp knife to slice the pasta into linguine-like strips. The pasta sheets should be dry enough that they will hold their form and not clump together, but moist enough that they do not crack or splinter.
  13. Allow the pasta to dry for a few more hours or even overnight.
  14. Cook in boiling water with plenty of salt for about 5 minutes.  I do not add any salt to the pasta dough itself because the salt crystals can mess with the moisture content of my dough.

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