It’s very easy to grab a packet of something at a grocery store for dinner, particularly if you’ve had a long day at work and just want to spend the evening chilling out. But so many of us are seriously missing a trick in the flavor department when we do this. Many of the things we buy are so much tastier when we make them ourselves. Plus, doing so is often a lot less work than you might think when you make it from scratch!
Cooking things from scratch is cheaper and healthier, too, with many pre-made foods containing lots of added sugars, salts, and ingredients you could do without. To help you start your DIY food journey, here are three of our favorite types you can make yourself.
If pasta forms the basis of many of your meals, particularly during hectic work weeks, then learning to make it yourself will be an incredibly worthwhile life skill. Best of all, many pasta shapes only require two or three ingredients. Making the likes of tagliatelle, pappardelle, and orecchiette are very simple to make from scratch.
If you want to try something a little more challenging, like a twisted shape, check out this homemade fusilli guide by the pasta gurus at Pasta Evangelists. For the rest of you, though, here’s how to make pasta from scratch:
- 300g (1 1/4 cups) pasta flour (and a little bit extra for dusting)
- Two eggs and four yolks, lightly beaten.
- Semolina flour, for dusting
- Place the flour in a food processor with three-quarters of your egg mixture and a pinch of salt. Process them until they’re large crumbs and form a dough when squeezed, adding more egg if they’re too dry.
- Put the dough onto a lightly floured surface before kneading until smooth. Cover with cling film or a clean tea towel and leave aside for half an hour.
- Slice away a quarter of the dough and feed it through the widest setting on your pasta machine. For those without a machine, use a heavy rolling pin to roll the dough as thinly as you can.
- Next, fold the dough into three, give it a quarter turn and feed it through the pasta machine again. Continue to pass the dough through the machine until you have a smooth sheet of pasta.
- Cut the sheet into the shape you like before dusting in semolina flour and setting aside or hanging until dry (this should take an hour)
- Put in the fridge and use within a couple of days, or freeze for up to a month.
Hummus has taken the world by storm, and by 2026 the global market is estimated to be worth over $1 billion. The Middle Eastern dish consists of chickpeas, lemon, tahini, olive oil, and garlic and has been consumed in the region for over 800 years now. However, it has only really gained popularity in the Western world in the last couple of decades.
Traditionally consumed as a dip, hummus is now often served as a snack or appetizer in its own right, making it an ideal starter for meals. And guess what? Hummus is also easy to make at home and from scratch — here’s how to do it.
- Three cups of chickpeas
- One or two cloves of garlic
- ⅓ cup tahini
- Fresh lemon juice
- Pinch of kosher salt
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Garnish, such as ground cumin or parsley
- Cook the chickpeas well by boiling them — you may even want to overcook them slightly, as this can give you even creamier hummus. Even if you’re using canned chickpeas, be sure to simmer them for 20 minutes to ensure they’re tender.
- Peel the chickpeas. Although chickpea skins are edible, keeping them on will make it difficult to create creamy hummus.
- Use quality tahini for that rich consistency and subtle nutty flavor.
- Mix everything into a food processor for a few minutes until you get a smooth texture. You may want to pour in a tiny bit of hot water through the opener of the food processor to help smooth the hummus even further.
- Pro tip: To create the fluffiest hummus possible, add ice cubes while blending. These help to whip the hummus into a creamier texture, sort of like freshly churned ice cream.
Who knew something so simple could be so delicious and even made from scratch? Used to add texture and flavor to salads, as an accompaniment to soups or stews, or eaten as a snack in their own right, these delicious pieces of rebaked bread traditionally come in cube shapes and are known for their crunchy texture.
Croutons are so well-loved that there’s even a whole day dedicated to them in the US on May 13th. Why not whip up some yourself to celebrate?
- Two large slices of crusty bread, around ¾-inch thick
- Two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- A pinch of fine salt
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees °F and line a sheet of baking paper.
- Slice the bread into ¾-inch cubes using a serrated knife. You need about three cups’ worth of cubed bread.
- Put the cubed bread onto the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle over the salt, garlic powder, and black pepper. Lightly coat the bread in oil, then arrange it evenly on the baking sheet.
- Bake, tossing every five minutes, for roughly 10 to 12 minutes, until the croutons are golden brown.
- Take the croutons out of the oven and put them on a lined plate to absorb excess oil. Once cool, season to taste.
- We recommend eating the croutons within a few hours, as they can become too tough after this.
Featured Image by Oldmermaid from Pixabay