No one ever believes me when I tell them that making pasta is easy. Ok, not as easy as ripping open a box and dumping it into boiling water, but pretty darn close though. I am going to walk you through the steps and teach you how to make your own homemade pasta. Then you are going to wonder why you’ve never done this before.
3 cups of flour (fine semolina flour or unbleached flour)
5 large eggs at room temperature
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon of salt
Directions for Homemade Pasta
Put the flour in a big mound, I like to use my big wooden cutting board. Make a well (see the photo) and break the eggs into the middle. Add your oil and salt.
Use fork to mix the eggs with the flour, just a little at a time. Don’t worry if the dam breaks, you are still a rookie. Once the mix is fairly incorporated, you can start to knead with your hands. The dough will feel dry and grainy to start. Keeping kneading until it begins to feel elastic and shiny. When you can push your finger into the dough and it bounces back, you are done. Be patient, this lasts at least 10 minutes and it is hard work. Make sure you have at least one pasta buddy so you can take turns kneading.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for at least 30 minutes. (Now is the time to start your sauces, or get some more wine).
Rolling the Pasta Dough
I like to use my little hand-crank pasta machine. You can get these just about anywhere. Don’t spend a ton of money, my $30 unit is still alive and kicking after 3 years.
Your pasta machine has a handle with the numbers 1 – 9. You are going to take a small piece of your dough, flatten it with your hands and then run it through the lowest setting THREE TIMES. Each time you will fold the pasta in three parts, like a trifold, and run it through the low setting. This gives it one last good knead.
WITHOUT FOLDING the pasta, start to run it through the machine on 2 and increase by one number each time until you get to 6 (go to 7 for ravioli please). This is easier to do with a buddy until you get better at managing the machine and the pasta.
Now you have a nice long sheet of pasta ready for whatever you are making.
Leave your pasta on a floured cloth or pasta rack to dry (aka my cooling rack, no need to get fancy).
Cooking Fresh Pasta
The pasta only take 2-3 minutes to cook (just a minute more for ravioli). Make sure the water is boiling nicely in a large pot and you have add salt. There is no need to add oil to the water if you are using a big pot filled with lots of salted water. Trust me.
There you have it. Yummy, delicious and wonderfully homemade pasta. Stayed tuned for my upcoming article on the queen of cooking: Alessandra Federici.
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