MAKE FRESH PASTA FROM SCRATCH
Well I’m sure some of you think making pasta from scratch is too tough, you couldn’t be more wrong. Follow the below and you’ll soon have your own egg pasta from scratch.
I’ll go through every step in detail, making fresh pasta couldn’t be more easy. You’re going to have to mix and knead some dough, that will take around 10 minutes. Then feel free to relax for 30 minutes while it sits. While you let it rest, feel free to start gathering ingredients for a homemade pasta sauce.
After letting the dough sit, the rolling and cutting portion will take you around 10-20 minutes, not too bad right? This will depend on how speedy you are. Having some extra hands around can’t hurt either.
Those little helpers can be great for feeding dough through the pasta roller. Either way you’ll start getting the hang of it, rolling, cutting and sprinkling with flour…you’ll get through it in no time at all.
Once you’re all set it’s time to freeze, cook or dry. Keep in mind fresh pasta cooks way faster than dry pasta. A few minutes in salted water should do the trick. Check it every minute to make sure the pasta is done to perfection.
OK, let’s get things started.
3 large eggs
2 cups of a high quality flour needed, you’ll need extra for rolling the pasta out
1/3 teaspoon of fine salt
Large baking sheet
Large mixing bowl
Whisk or fork for mixing dough
Pasta rolling machine (see my notes for rolling by hand)
- Mix the flour and salt: Whisk the flour and salt together in the mixing bowl.
- Adding the eggs: Make a deep hole in the flour, crack the eggs inside and whisk together with the flour.
- Mixing the eggs and flour: As your whisking the flour together with the eggs, take your time, pull the flour from the sides. Once you add enough flour it will become a soft dough. Having leftover flour is perfectly ok.
- Kneading the Pasta Dough: Take the flour and dough you have left and put it on a clean surface. Start to fold the dough and flatten it, repeat this a bit. It should be soft when you start and slowly start to get firmer and firmer. Once it’s firm enough you can start kneading away. Once you feel its firm enough time to cut it and check for bubbles; if you see air bubbles that’s not a good thing, keep going at it until no more bubbles. It’s completely kneaded once it’s smooth with a few bubbles inside.
- Time to Rest: Clean the bowl up to prep it for the dough. Put the ball of dough in the bowl and cover it up with a plate or some saran wrap. Now let it sit, 30 mins is a good amount of time.
- Cutting up the dough: Spread flour on the baking sheet and place the dough on it (you will probably find it stuck to the mixing bowl so be prepared with a spatula). Cut the dough into four equal parts. Flour should be used to dust those parts before being covered by the towel.
- The rolling begins!: Set the pasta rolling machine to its thickest setting (which will usually be a “1"). Take a piece of dough, shape it into a disc shape and start feeding it into the machine. Repeat this a couple times. The dough needs to be folded into thirds and get it ready to feed through again. With the machine on the thickest setting continue feeding it through. Let it feed through a couple more times until it’s smooth. The more you do it the stronger the gluten will be and the chewier the texture will be, continue doing this to suit your own taste.
- Thinning out the Pasta: Change the machine setting to be thinner and thinner. Run the pasta through 2 or 3 times each setting (don’t skip one, the pasta will snag). If the pasta gets difficult to manage just lay it down and cut it in half. How thin you want to go is up to you. For some of the flat pastas such as fettucine you will probably want a setting of 6 or 7 on most machines; for thinner pasta such as stuffed pasta or some angel hair I would go one or two settings thinner.
- Cutting the Pasta: Cut the dough into long noodles about twelve inches in length. If you’re doing lasagna or stuffed pasta you can continue to shape it. You will have to switch to a noodle cutter in the pasta machine and start running it through. Be generous with flour to prevent sticking. Place the pasta in a basket and cover the basket with a towel while you continue the process.
- Time to cook, dry or freeze: If you want to boil the pasta right away, bring a pot of salted water to boil, in 4-5 minutes it should be al dente. To dry the pasta out, lay it over rack or chair of some sort. Then let it dry until brittle, it should sit for a few weeks in an airtight container at this point. When freezing the pasta, if you place it in an airtight container you can freeze it for three months.
Note: You can leave the dough refrigerated for up to 24 hrs here. Just make sure it’s room temp before starting again.
Note: To prevent the pasta from being sticky be liberal with the flour and sprinkle it on both the dough you’re working with and the pasta sitting. If it gets sticky again sprinkle more flour. Be sure to cover the sitting pasta with the clean dishtowel too.
Note: I think it’s easier to roll all your dough out first before starting to cut.
So you like to use your hands: You can definitely do this, use a rolling pin to roll things out. Roll it to be extremely thin and keep it moving so the dough doesn’t stick. Use a lot of flour and roll the dough into a roll. Then cut the roll into noodle size cuts. Shake the rolls out, toss it with more flour and then you’re good to go!