Is homemade pasta really worth the effort? In my opinion the answer is an emphatic yes!
Personally I really rather enjoy the satisfaction of rolling the dough out into luscious sheets of pasta, so I don’t find it too much of a bother at all, but that’s just me.
You can roll the pasta out by hand but I wouldn’t recommend it, rather get yourself a good quality pasta machine. Given how much cheaper it is to make your own pasta verses buying the ready made stuff, it is an investment that will pay for itself (well almost). You can also use the pasta machine to make your own ramen which was incentive enough for me to get one!
My basic rule-of-thumb when it comes to making your own pasta is 1 large egg and 100g of flour per person. This recipe is for 2 people, but feel free to add more flour and eggs depending on how many you are feeding. I also don’t add any salt to my pasta, but feel free to add a pinch if you are so inclined.
I usually have some left over which I dust with extra flour, place in a freezer bag and immediately put into the deep freeze – when you are ready to cook the pasta, drop it into the boiling water straight out of the freezer.
Basic Homemade Pasta: Serves 2
- 200g “00” flour or cake flour
- 2 large eggs
- Place the flour on a wooden surface or a large mixing bowl
- Make a well in the centre of the flour, large enough to fit your eggs
- Add the eggs into the well
- Using the tips of your fingers, slowly ‘beat’ the eggs
- Incorporate the flour a little at a time, until all the flour has been mixed in
- Knead until everything comes together and forms a smooth, consistent dough. Add a sprinkling of flour if the dough feels too wet.
- Tightly wrap the dough in cling film and leave in the fridge for 30 minutes
- When you are ready to make your pasta, set up your work station. Make sure you have enough space to work (the final pasta sheet will be longer than you think!). Firmly secure the pasta machine to the work surface then dust the area and the machine with a little flour. Keep the flour close by
- Take the dough out of the fridge and cut it in half. Cover the half you are not using with a clean kitchen cloth
- Form the dough into a rough rectangle and dust it with a little flour
- Pass it through the machine at its widest setting. Fold the sheet over onto itself and pass through the machine again at the same setting
- Set the rollers to the next setting and pass the dough through then repeat again at the same setting
- Continue rolling the pasta, reducing the settings as you go. I like to pass the sheet through each setting twice. Remember to dust your pasta sheet with flour as you work it
- Cut your sheet into the desired shapes immediately as it will dry out very quickly. Once you have your shapes, dust with a little flour and cover with a kitchen cloth
- To cook the pasta, place a large pot of water on to boil and add a good pinch of salt. Once the water comes to a boil, add the pasta and cook for two minutes – don’t over crowd the pot. Drain and serve immediately
Note: Generally speaking there are 9 settings on a pasta machine, but more often than not you can stop at 8 if you are making tagliatelle or linguine. If you are making ravioli you should roll the pasta out as thinly as possible as the ravioli will be made with two sheets of pasta, effectively doubling the thickness of the pasta