I love everything about fresh pasta! I love making it in the traditional method with nothing but my hands and a fork. I love using my new-fangled gadget, the KitchenAid pasta attachment, to roll and cut the dough. I love pairing the pasta with simple, fresh ingredients because truly that’s all it needs. And most of all, I love eating it.
Simply put, there’s just nothing quite like fresh, homemade pasta. Although I say that every time I make it, its something I don’t make very often. I’m not sure why. The dough comes together in less than 10 minutes and freezes very well. Not to mention it’s fun to make, and it’s not even that messy.
Whatever the reason, I need to rectify the situation and make pasta more often. And I want you to do the same. The video here demonstrates the step-by-step method to making homemade pasta using a very basic recipe. And don’t fret if you don’t have an electric pasta roller; the counter top hand-crank models work great and are inexpensive, or you can go very old-school and use a rolling pin. Either way, it’s worth the effort.
Also, the video shows how to make fettuccine but you should know that the same recipe and method can be used to make other types of noodles and pasta dishes including ravioli and lasagna.
Here’s the pasta recipe:
Basic Pasta Dough, makes 1 pound
4 cups flour
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon olive oil
Water as needed
Use a clean work surface such as a counter top or large cutting board, wood is best. Set the flour in a mound and make a well in the center using your fingers. Crack the eggs in to the well and pour in the olive oil, salt and about 1 tablespoon water. Whisk the eggs with a fork, gradually incorporating the flour.
Once you’ve incorporated as much flour as you can with the fork, set it aside and begin kneading the dough with your hands. Add more water as needed, 1 teaspoon at a time. Be careful not to let the dough become wet.
Continue kneading for five minutes after the dough forms a ball. Knead by rotating the dough in quarter turns and pressing the half closest to your body over the other half with the heel of your hand. Knead until the dough becomes smooth, firm and slightly elastic. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
Divide the dough into four pieces. Keep each piece covered while working with the others so it doesn’t become dry. Lightly flour the counter top and press the dough into a rectangle.
Adjust the pasta roller to the widest setting and slowly feed the dough through. Return it to the counter and fold the dough into thirds. Feed it through again. Repeat five times in total, dusting with flour as needed.
Now roll the dough one time through each of the remaining settings until you reach the desired thickness, usually the second-to-last setting (on my model it is setting #7). Repeat until all the dough has been rolled.
To make fettuccine noodles, replace the roller attachment with the cutter attachment. I like to cut the sheets of pasta in half so they’re not too long. Gently feed the pasta through the cutter with one hand and use the other hand to carefully collect the noodles. Set the noodles on a large plate or baking sheet and toss with flour to prevent them from sticking together.
To cook the noodles, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the noodles and cook for two minutes, gently stirring every 30 seconds. Drain and serve with your favorite sauce.