If you really want to wow dinner guests, serve your favorite Italian dish with fresh homemade pasta. For the most part, the different names and shapes of pasta that you see at the store are all made from the same basic recipe which is simply flour and eggs. Sometimes you can add a little olive oil to help with elasticity of the dough or add to the water as you cook.
Ingredients (per serving)
- 1 egg
- 100 g flour – bread or all purpose
- semolina flour – for dusting dough
This ratio is a rule of thumb for helping you scale your sauce recipes. Once you make the pasta, you can cut and/or shape it into any noodle you want, such as spaghetti, linguini, tagliolini, lasagna, etc.
Process – both old school and with a mixer
- Mix pasta dough:
- The old school way to make pasta is first measure out the flour you want to use onto the counter, and create a hole in the center where you crack open an egg for each 100 grams of flour you used. Then you use a fork to mix the eggs and slowly work flour into the eggs. From there you knead by hand until you a smooth elastic dough is formed.
- A more convenient way resulting in a faster better kneaded dough is to use a mixer with a bread hook attachment: Add the flour and then the eggs, and mix on speed 1 for 3 mins.. Increase the speed to #4 to knead the dough for 5 mins.
- Once kneaded, wrap dough in film and let rest for 30 mins. This helps the gluten relax and be more pliable for what comes next.
- If you have pasta machine:
- Divide the dough into sections and work through the pasta roller starting on the most open setting. In a series of five passes, run the dough through the press, fold twice to shorten the length to 1/3rd what it was and run through the press again. If dough starts to stick, dust with semolina flour.
- On the 5th cycle, start to close the press opening in stages, closing on setting each pass. Depending on the pasta you intend to make, work down to the thinness you want. For example, if you are making tagliolini pasta for cacio e pepe, you want the dough to be thin enough to see your hand shape when holding the dough from below (2nd smallest setting on the roller).
- Make the pasta: If you are making lasagna noodles you are done and just need to cut the dough to the length of your pan.
- If you are making noodles, dust dough and replace roller with noodle attachment and cut the dough into long noodles. When that is done, cut to noodles to length.
- If rolling dough by hand
- Divide dough into smaller sections and roll out each section into long thing rectangles.
- Fold each rectangle twice, shortening the length by a third.
- Roll dough out again.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 four more times.
- Cut dough into noodle ribbons. Dust each flat rectangle and stack three high. Gently fold down the length twice to make a narrow width then cut the dough into ribbons the width you want your noodles to be.
- Cook Pasta Noodles: In a pot of salted boiling water, with perhaps some olive oil, cook the pasta ~4 mins. Do not rinse, you want the pasta sticky so your sauce will stick.
- If not cooking immediately: store in fridge for up to a few hours. To help keep the noodles from sticking, toss in semolina flour and make a series of circular piles on a tray each consisting of approximately a serving size. When you drop these nests into the boiling water when you are ready to cook, they will untangle and the flour coating will boil off.