A while back I got a bee in my bonnet to haul out my pasta machine and make home made pasta.
What possessed me to start the process at 6pm for dinner that night will forever be unknown.
Making pasta from scratch should never be rushed.
Actually making the dough, is a process that can take up to half an hour. You really need to give the kneading process time. The longer you work the dough the smoother and more elastic it is. You also need to let the dough rest before rolling it.
Then, since the machine is small, you need to actually make your pasta in small batches. Rolling the pasta takes time, you need to roll the dough through each setting a few times to ensure its even. Rolling the entire ball of dough can take over an hour.
But, its worth it, Fresh pasta is delicious!
So before I give you the recipe, here are a few tips from me to you.
- Plan ahead. Set aside a morning or afternoon where you have at least 2-3 hours uninterrupted time. I suggest an afternoon because of tip #3 below.
- Don’t make pasta alone. Rope in the kids to help. Mine had a blast helping me roll out the pasta and choose which type of pasta to cut. Alternatively invite some friends around and make a day of it. Make the pasta, make the sauces from scratch, maybe even make a batch of artisan bread to go with your fresh pasta.
- If you go the friend route (or even the kids route), open a bottle of wine and enjoy a sip or two between rolling batches.
- Take a break. The kneading and then the rolling takes work. Your shoulders will get sore. This is also why you need time. Sit between batches. Maybe stop rolling the dough for a while and make one of the sauces.
- Take the time to let your pasta dry a bit before cooking. You can cook it right away, but I find letting it dry for at least 20 minutes helps the pasta maintain its shape when cooking.
- 4 cups pasta flour (you can use '00' fine flour or regular flour if you want, I bought a bag of flour that said pasta flour on it and it was delish)
- 6 large eggs
- A pinch of salt
- In a large bowl or on a large, clean surface, place your flour and sprinkle the salt into it.
- Make a well in the middle.
- Crack your eggs into the well.
- With your hands, start bringing the flour into the eggs in the centre.
- Keep working the flour into the eggs from the outside in.
- Once the flour and eggs have become a rough ball, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and start kneading.
- Keep kneading the dough, adding a little bit of flour if it is too sticky until the ball starts to become smooth.
- You will know the dough is ready when the ball is smooth and silky and stretchy.
- Cover tightly with plastic wrap and leave in a cool place (or in your fridge) for about 20 minutes to rest.
- When you are ready to start rolling, remove a small ball of dough to work with and cover the remaining dough well before setting it aside.
- Follow the instructions on your machine to achieve the desired thickness and type of pasta.
- Once your pasta is cut, hang it immediately so it doesn't clump. You could also lay it flat on a floured tea towel.
- Let the pasta dry for at least 20 minutes before boiling in salted water for about 5 minutes.
- I had about a 3rd of the dough left and didn't feel like rolling it. I left it tightly wrapped in plastic in the fridge and rolled it out the next day and it was still easy to work with and delicious. I'm not sure leaving it for more than one day will work but if you don't have time to roll it all in one day you can definitely leave it overnight and have 2 days of fresh pasta out of one batch.