I don’t always make fresh pasta dough, but there is a difference. Homemade pasta is nuttier in flavor and has the most delightful, doughy texture to it. If it didn’t take an hour for me to make and didn’t make me fat, I would home make pasta dough 3-4 times a week.
That being said, I would never recommend trying to make pasta without a pasta machine to roll it out. I’ve hand rolled pasta before; and it is a daunting, frustrating, exhausting task. The only reason I attempted this was my desire to eat cheese-less ravioli (I have an unfortunate dairy allergy). However, if you have a pasta machine or wish to get one, I highly recommend this pasta recipe! The recipe originates from “Making Artisan Pasta” by Aliza Green.
350 grams all purpose flour
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 egg yolk
2 to 3 TBSP tepid water
Put the flour in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle of the flour and add the eggs and egg yolk.
Beat the eggs with a fork. Then begin to slowly incorporate the flour from the sides with the eggs. Once the egg and flour is fully mixed, add water as needed. Pasta dough is similar to pie dough, the amount of water you need will vary each time. Start by adding 2 TBSP of the water. Thoroughly mix this in. If the dough stays together and forms a ball, there is enough water. If not, keep adding water until it does.
Knead the dough for 5-10 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic. Wrap with plastic, and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Cut the dough into 6 pieces, then select a piece and pound it out into a rectangle. Roll the dough out to the desired thickness. I like my pasta thick, so I usually do it to about the 6th or 7th setting. Many pasta recipes recommend you roll it out to the second to last setting. Once it’s rolled out to the desired thickness, use the cutting mechanism to cut it into strips.
Dry the pasta on a drying rack for about 30 minutes; then nest it into a bunch and continue to dry or cook immediately. Dried pasta can be stored in the freezer for about 2 weeks. Repeat these steps until all the pasta is rolled out.
Below is what a nest looks like. It’s mostly just a bunch of pasta curled around itself. To cook fresh pasta, throw it into a pot of boiling water seasoned with salt and olive oil. It will only take 2-3 minutes for the pasta to cook to the desired texture, so keep a keen eye on it and taste it regularly. It’s easy to accidentally overcook it the first time, but you get the hang of it with practice.
Mmmmm, this is making me hungry now. I suppose I’ll go make more pasta… Look for a recipe on homemade gnocchi in the future!