Friday, September 7, 2007

Semolina ...More Questions Answered

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This week we made more pasta and I was so excited because I found Semolina flour. The sign over the shelf said it was made of corn meal which surprised me. I always thought it was made from wheat. Judith of Think On It and my favorite pasta making expert, clarified that it is indeed wheat.
"Semolina is NOT corn. It's wheat. In the US it ishard wheat. In Italy it is roughly ground wheat that forms what to Italians seems like little seeds-- ergo seme means seeds, semolina in little seeds. It can be hard or soft wheat in Italy, and if hard is semolinadi grano duro.Polenta is corn meal."

Cool, but I had more questions for Judith and she kindly shares the answers with all of us.

R: So which flour is better?
J: They make different pastas. Semolina is used to make non-egg pasta, and is hard to work with without a food processor. The recipe is semolina, salt, a bit of oil and water.

R: Do you have to blend semolina with all-purpose flour?
J: No

R: What else should we know about the differences?
J: Daily fresh pasta in Italy is made with fine soft wheat flour and eggs. They don't use a food processor-- although I do if making a lot and they generally hand roll it.

Semolina pasta is rarely made at home because it requires a good deal of muscle and you can buy great pasta. It is nearly impossible to roll it out by hand, so the ones that are made usually are the ones shaped with your fingers.

With a food processor and a roller you can make spaghetti, angel hair, eggless noodles, etc. and even dry them. It's a whole other thing.

I do hope Judith's answers cleared things up for you. They did for me.

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