I love pasta and could eat it 7 days a week. I especially love homemade pasta. It is light and fluffy and cooks up in no time at all. Once you try homemade pasta you will never want that hard stuff that comes out of a box again. If you have never made it then I think its time you give it a try. It really isn’t hard to do and if you have a pasta machine it can even be fun. Put on a pot of sauce, some good Italian music, pour yourself a glass of Vino and get the family involved!
- 4 eggs
- 1 pound flour (3 1/3 cups)
- olive oil or water to soften the dough if necessary
Put your flour onto your counter forming a mound. Make a well in the center and put eggs into it. Slowly begin to mix in the flour with the eggs using your hands. Continue mixing until all the flour and eggs are combined. If the dough feels too dry you may add some olive oil, water or another egg to it. Knead the dough until it is soft, smooth and elastic. It should have a uniform texture and color. Form the dough into a ball, wrap it in a clean towel or cover it with a bowl and let it rest for a few minutes.
If you own a pasta machine you begin by cutting the dough into slices and passing each slice through the flat rollers, adjusting the regulating knob as you go. Starting at #1 run the pasta through the rollers, fold it in two and pass it through again. This process should be repeated several times lightly flouring the pasta each time it is passed through the rollers and working up the dial until you achieve the thickness you want. At this point you simply insert your sheet of pasta into the cutters for whichever type of pastas you prefer, or leave it whole to fill for ravioli or making lasagna.
To roll the pasta by hand, sprinkle your work surface lightly with flour to keep the dough from sticking. Pat the dough into a circle and begin rolling it out, turning and moving it so it doesn’t stick to the surface. The dough will be elastic and hard to roll. Continue rolling out the dough adding more flour to the work surface and rolling-pin as necessary until you reach your desired thickness, it should look smooth and velvety. To cut your pasta into strips sprinkle the rolled out dough lightly with flour then roll it up loosely into a cylinder. Cut the cylinder across into 1/4 inch wide strips. Unravel the strips with your hands very carefully so they don’t break and toss with a little flour or cornmeal. Leave them flat or coil loosely into bundles and let dry on a floured dish towel for 1-2 hours.
Homemade pasta only takes a few minutes to cook in boiling water. Bring large pot of water to a boil with 1 tablespoon of salt, add pasta, stir and in 1-2 minutes it should be ready!
Today I made my own ricotta cheese so of course I decided to make ravioli. After my sheets of pasta were laid out I brushed them with water and placed a heaping teaspoon of filling down each side spacing them about an inch apart and leaving room on the edges. Cover with a second sheet of pasta, seal around each mound of filling by pressing down with your fingers and cut. Let dry on a towel sprinkled with cornmeal for 1-2 hours or if you are like me and can’t wait go ahead and throw them right into your pot of boiling water and enjoy. Pasta freezes well so while you have all that mess made you may as well make up a few different types to enjoy another day.
Have fun with it, get creative and “Buon Appetito”!