Homemade pasta | the method
The simplest way is to get your food processor out, bung in the flour, toss in the eggs, give the processor a few pulses till the mixture comes together and tip it out onto a work surface. At this stage you just need to bring it together with your hands, it should not be too soft. Next, you want to knead it for a while, this will give your finished pasta ‘body’ will give it a bit of chew, which is the sign of a good pasta. Once you have it all together in a nice solid ball, pop it in the fridge for an hour or so. Pour yourself a glass of your favourite vino, and relax.
Step #2 – Now the Fun part
Get out your pasta roller if you have not already, secure it to a stable work surface and get your pasta dough from the fridge. You do not NEED a proper pasta rolling machine, you can use a rolling pin but it is MUCH harder, I would advise if you want to enter the wonderful world of Home Made Pasta invest in a machine, they are not expensive.
Put the pasta machine gauge to the highest setting, cut off a piece of your pasta dough, about the size of a tennis ball should be right. Flatten it down with your hands a bit, flour it and start putting it through the machine. As you roll it through reducing the pasta gauge one notch at a time until you get down to the last or second last. This will give you a perfect long sheet of pasta, ready to cut or shape into the type you want.
For the simplest version, here is a little tip.
Cut the long strip into about 30cm/12 inch long piece, dust with flour and fold it over, end to end, flour again, fold again, flour again, fold again. When it is rolled up to about 5cm/2 inch then you can slice it with a knife into tagliatelle, fettuccine or how thick or thin you wish. Once it is all cut loose out the strips and if you have floured it properly they should just fall into individual strips ready for your pot of water.
NOTE: Your Cooking Water
Italians say that the cooking water for pasta should be as salty as the Mediterranean sea. My way, which I either read, watched, had a premonition, don’t know, but it works, is this, 1 litre / 2 pints of water add 1 teaspoon of salt, and each serving of pasta (100g/4oz dried pasta or about 150g/6oz fresh pasta, per person) you need to allow 1 litre of water. So if you are cooking pasta for 4 your pot needs to be big enough to hold 4 litres / 8 pints of water, plus the pasta. This is very important if you want the pasta to cook properly, too little water and it will be a mess, too little salt and the pasta will be bland.
Step #1 – The Recipe
This is the recipe that I always use and seems most others do too, it is the classic recipe for egg pasta and it is very simple, in its simplest form, I will explain later.
100g / 3.5oz of Flour to 1 medium size egg
Yes, that’s it, freakishly easy, that is the general rule and is per person. So if you want to make pasta for 4 then a quick calculation….
400g / 14oz Flour (Tipo ’00’ or Semolina flour, if not just plain flour)
Done! (to quote a certain chef)