The first time I tried to make my own pasta, it was disastrous. To this day I am still not sure what went wrong. The ingredients list is simple and the instructions even more so. Yet, what I had created was a pile of glue that hardened into what seemed like “ceramics”. A few years later I decided to give it another whirl and this time my pasta was perfect. It’s a bit time consuming and completely worth every minute.
Keeping with the theme of “Don’t buy your food, create your food”, I have cultivated a lovely container garden on my back patio. As my vegetables and herbs grow, I head outdoors and cut fresh herbs to add to all of our pasta dishes making them seasonal and fresh.
What is your ultimate method for “finishing” your pasta? A hearty red sauce, delicate white or olive oil, herbs and vegetables? The possibilities are endless.
This is number one in our pasta series. Why? Because there are so many additions and flavors we couldn’t stop at just one! Garlic, Spinach, Basil…all of these and more can go in to your pasta making! We have been creating tortellini and ravioli and I look forward to sharing all of this with you. Stay tuned ~~ we have some amazing recipes on the way!
For less mess and easier clean up, I suggest using a bowl to mix your pasta in. I have a large wooden cutting board that I use to mix the pasta simply because I love the way it looks.
- 2 cups of flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs ( they must be Large, if small or med, use 4 )
- Pasta Machine
- Mixing Bowl or Large Wooden Cutting Board
- Baking Sheet
- 2 Clean Dishtowels
- On wooden board or in mixing bowl, combine flour and salt with fork or pasta whisk.
- Create a well in the middle of the flower and crack your eggs in to the well. Whisk eggs with fork.
- While whisking eggs, begin pulling flour from bottom and sides, do this slowly and incorporate until a soft dough forms. You may not use all of the flour and that’s alright.
- Turn your dough and a bit of flour on to a clean counter or cutting board. If you have unused flour from the dough mixture, now is the time to use it. Gently fold dough onto itself, flatten, fold again, repeat. It will become firm enough to knead. If it sticks to your hands or counter, add a bit more flour.
- Slice dough with a knife. If a lot of air bubbles are present, continue kneading. When your dough is a smooth and elastic ball and contains very little air bubbles, this task is complete.
- Rest your dough. Using a clean, dry bowl, place dough inside and cover with wrap or a dinner plate. Rest for a minimum of 30 mins. Your dough can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours, it will need to be brought back to room temp before rolling.
- Sprinkle flour generously on your baking sheet. Scrape your dough out of the bowl. It will stick to you and the bowl, use a spatula if necessary. Divide dough in to four, equally. Dust each portion with flour and cover with your clean dishtowel.
- Now the fun begins. Let’s roll the pasta! This is an area where you do not want to skip any of the pasta machine’s settings. Great pasta takes time.
- Set your pasta machine on the thickest setting. With your hands, flatten one portion of your dough into a thick disk and feed it through your pasta roller. Repeat, twice. Fold the dough into thirds, like a letter, and feed crosswise through pasta roller. Do this two additional times, until smooth. This will strengthen your pasta.
- Change the settings in your roller down one notch. Roll your pasta 2 to 3 times on each setting. Remember do not skip any of the notches on your setting. Roll the pasta as thin as you can.
- Cut your long stretches of dough in to the noodle lengths you desire. The method I use, is to take each sheet, lightly dust with flour and fold softly on itself, and with a very sharp knife cut quickly without pressing on the folded sheet. Toss a bit of flour on your pasta to keep it from sticking together. Cover with a towel while you finish working with the rest of your dough.
- If you are using a noodle cutter that attaches to your roller, run the sheet of pasta through the cutter, toss your noodles with a bit of flour to keep them from sticking together. Cover with a towel while you finish working with the rest of your dough.
Cooking your pasta: Bring a large pot of water boil and salt your water. Cook pasta 4-5 minutes.
Drying your pasta: Lay on pasta dryer, a coat hanger ( this works beautifully ) or even the back of a clean chair. Let air dry until brittle. This can be stored in an airtight container for several weeks.
Freezing your pasta: With your pasta still on the baking sheet, toss your baking sheet in to the freezer until pasta is completely frozen. Gather in to an airtight container and freeze your pasta for up to three months. Remember to give your pasta 2.5 additional minutes of cook time if it has been dried or frozen.