Homemade Pasta

As I mentioned in my Twenty Questions article, my favorite food in the whole wide world is PASTA.

My homemade pasta with bolognese.

I don’t have a preference of noodle, nor a preference of sauce (they’re all my favorite). All I care about is the doughy yet chew-able richness of a massive plate of pasta. I swear, I could eat spaghetti or fettuccine or farfalle for the rest of my life and be perfectly content. I’d even eat it plain! Though for maximum flavor with minimum effort, a swirl of butter and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese is divine. 

Anyway – roughly eight years ago now, I discovered an article that outlined how to make pasta at home. I was shocked! I thought making pasta was some sort of ancient secret known only to Barilla and every grandmother in Italy! Up until that point, I had never eaten fresh pasta that, instead of being dried and packaged away, went straight from being cut into a boiling pot of salted water.

So I set out to create my own pasta at home. I won’t bore you with the details, but it took a massive amount of trial and error along with my mom’s kitchen being coated floor-to-ceiling in flour and egg, to get the art of pasta just right. Eight years later, I’m still no where near to mastering it, but I can produce a damn fine bowl of noodles.

And that’s what I’m here to show you!

Don’t be afraid – making pasta is actually so much easier than you’d think. There are only four ingredients total and they’re all readily available at your local grocery store. You probably already have them in your pantry, though.

Here is what you’ll need:

2 cups all-purpose flour (plus extra for dusting)

3 large eggs (plus one more just in case)

1 tablespoon olive oil

A dash of salt

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Hopefully you have an apron handy or you don’t really care about what you’re wearing because making pasta is one messy experience.

Oh, also – wash your hands. Please.

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To begin! Assemble the following items – a fork, a cutting board (the largest one you have) and a rolling pin.

Step 1. Measure out 2 cups of flour and tip it over onto your cutting board.

Step 2. Make a well (a little divot) in the mound of flour that will be large enough to crack three eggs into. Refer to the picture below.

Yes, there are five egg yolks – this batch was for 20+ people.

Step 3. Taking your fork, ever-so-gently start to whisk your eggs together, breaking up the yolks and blending them into the whites as you go. Very gradually, start to incorporate a small amount of the flour surrounding the well. You’ll soon create a flour/egg slurry.

Step 4. Once you’ve created this slurry in the well, you can now start incorporating the rest of the flour into it, small bits at a time. I like to take my fork and ladle a bit of flour into the well, whisk till combined, and then repeat.

Step 5. Once you get a loose but cohesive mass of pasta dough, you can put aside your fork. Now is the time to knead.

Step 6. Knead the dough consistently for about 10 minutes. During this time, you can add small amounts of flour to the dough so that it starts to really come together. If you find that your dough is becoming too dry, run one of your hands under the sink so that it’s wet and then resume kneading your dough. *NOTE* You DO NOT want to add water directly to your dough. Only the tiniest amounts of water on your hand is acceptable.

Step 7. Once your dough has come together in a nice, smooth ball that is neither too dry, nor too wet (*insert Michael Scott joke here*) you can set it aside. Grab a large mixing bowl and put one tablespoon of olive oil in it and swirl it around the bowl to get an even coat. Place your dough in the bowl and cover it with a kitchen towel. Let it rest for 15-20 minutes in a warm part of your kitchen.

Step 8. Once the dough has rested, it’s time to roll it out. Grab your cutting board or clean off a large, flat surface and dust it all over with flour. I would recommend cutting your dough into four small portions. It will make rolling it out a lot easier.

Step 9. This part takes a lot of elbow-grease, but you can do it! Roll out each portion of dough until it’s thin enough to see through but not so thin that it’s breakable. It’s a fine line but you’ll know it when you see it. Grab the sheet of dough and hold it up to the light. If you can see your hand through it, it’s good to go!

Step 10. This part can get pretty tedious, but it’s also a time to get creative. With your sheet of dough, cut whatever size/style/shape of noodle you’d like. Medium length, skinny noodles will hold up in the boiling water the best.

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I’ll be honest – I have a Kitchen Aid Stand-Mixer with pasta rolling and cutting attachments. It’s life changing. But if you don’t have a mixer, the old-fashioned way is as good a method as any!

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Step 11. Once your noodles are cut, dust them lightly with flour once more to prevent them from sticking together while you get your water ready to boil. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a full rolling boil. Cook your noodles in batches – don’t overcrowd the pot or else they won’t cook! Raw pasta dough cooks in 2-3 minutes so don’t go off the directions from the dried pasta boxes! Wait for the noodles to float to the top and then gently fish them out with a slotted spoon into a serving bowl.

Step 12. EAT YOUR NOODLES.

Enjoy!

 

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