Mmmm… pasta. And not just any ol’ pasta… homemade pasta! While you might question the need to make something you can readily buy at the store for about a dollar, I assure you that some things are worth the extra work. Maybe not everyday, but for some meals, making your own pasta is an alternative (or nice addition) to making your own bread. I have a feeling that, now that I know how easy and delicious this process really is (with the right equipment), I will do it more often. Some things you just know. You know?
Basic Pasta Dough Recipe
(adapted from the King Arthur Flour website – a treasure trove of great recipes, in case you wanted to know)
4 cups all-purpose flour
In the bowl of your stand mixer (fitted with a dough hook), create a well with the flour. Crack the eggs directly into the well. Scramble them with a fork.
Mix on low speed until a soft, loose dough forms. Continue to knead the dough, 8-10 minutes until a firm, but not dry dough forms (can be hard on your mixer so use the lowest speed). Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.
Fresh pasta cooks quickly, so start heating your water early. After the dough has rested, divide into 4 even pieces. Set aside and cover 3 pieces while you work with the 4th. Lightly dredge your working piece in flour.
Roll through the largest setting on your pasta machine. Remove the dough, fold in half and repeat the roll. Repeat again 4 times, for a total of 6 rolls. After the 6th roll, dial the machine down to the next smallest setting. Roll the pasta through once, and dial down again. Only the first roll on the largest setting is done 6 times. Continue to roll thinner and thinner until you reach the 2nd smallest setting.
Let the pasta sheets rest for 10-15 minutes. Be sure to check the pasta water. After the pasta has rested, run each sheet through the cutting blades of the pasta machine. Gently separate the noodles, and loosely pile the pasta while you roll the rest of the sheets.
After all sheets are cut, add the pasta to the salted boiling water (use lots of salt since the dough has none in it!). Cook for 2-3 minutes. Drain the pasta and serve immediately. Refrigerate any leftovers (if you happen to be so lucky!).
See, not so tricky!! I have no idea exactly how one might go about drying fresh pasta (or freezing it?), but I will probably find out soon enough. And then I’ll tell you about it… eventually…