So, making pasta from scratch. It seems like a lot of effort, doesn’t it? Truth be told, making your own pasta from scratch is one of the simplest and gratifying kitchen skills. It requires little hands-on time, it can be made with 2-3 ingredients and that FLAVOUR! No amount of store-bought pasta can ever compare. Plus it’s basically like playing with playdough, and it’s perfectly acceptable as an adult to do so!
Now there is a couple of types of pasta to consider when making pasta. In this case, we’re making traditional egg pasta. There is also no egg pasta (flour & water) and egg yolk pasta. But I find for my needs, this is the pasta dough I come back to again and again.
What you need
- 00 Pasta Flour
- Semolina –
- Eggs – free range and fresh is best
My rule of thumb when making pasta is 1 egg = 75g of flour + 25g semolina = per person
How to make pasta dough
Get your ingredients together within easy reach on a clean bench. In a bowl, measure out the flour and semolina and mix them together. Tip the flours onto the bench and make a pile. In the middle of the flour pile, make a well big enough for a couple of eggs. Crack your eggs into the well. With a fork, give the eggs a gentle whisk and slowly start incorporating a bit of the flour at a time into the egg mixture. Continue to add flour. When the mixture starts to thicken, start using your hands to incorporate the rest of the flour into a dough. If the dough is a little dry and crumbly, add a little water to bind the dough together, until you can form it into a ball. At this stage, it’s time to knead the dough.
Kneading your dough
Make sure your work surface is floured and place the dough ball in the center. To knead, place the heel of your hand in the center of the dough and push it forward (like you are stretching the dough). Fold the dough in half, turn it over. Repeat this action for 5 minutes until you have a lovely, smooth ball of dough. The dough now needs to rest. Pop the dough into a bowl, cover, and leave to rest for an hour.
Shaping your pasta
Ok so now’s the fun part. There is a whole wide world of pasta shapes for you to explore. In this case, we are going to make fettuccine. There is a couple of ways you can go about this. You could use a rolling pin and knife to cut the fettuccine into shape or a bench model pasta machine like a Marcato Atlas 150. Years ago i started with the Marcato and have since upgraded to a KitchenAid pasta attachment. The main bonus with this is having that free hand to feed through the pasta as the stand mixer turns the pasta maker into an electrical pasta machine, cutting down your work considerably. Ps, I recommend both.
Always start your pasta maker in the widest function (mine is 0). Depending on how much dough you have made, divide into manageable chunks, shape into a ball. Then squish that ball of dough a bit to help the pasta machine catch the dough. Feed each dough ball through. After each feed, decrease the width on the pasta roller functions, working from a 0 all the way up to 9. If you at any stage make an error feeding the dough through, just start again (the bonus of pasta dough!) Once you have fed all your pasta through the thinnest setting, change over to a fettuccine cutter and feed the sheets of pasta through. Voila! Fettucine!
Drying your pasta
Because I don’t make pasta for freezing or for another day, drying my pasta is less of a priority than for others. I leave my pasta to dry on an old tea towel for 15 minutes before I cook it and that’s good enough for me. You could also dry it on a pasta dryer, on the back of a dining chair, or hung over a coat hanger.
Cooking your pasta
Drop your pasta into a pot of simmering, salted water and cook for 3-4 minutes till aldente. Have a taste to check it’s cooked and strain the pasta. add to your favourite sauce. I’ve added a few of mine below.
I’m sure this will be the start of your new pasta-making obsession!
Some of my favourite pasta recipes. Don’t forget the wine!