BASIC HOMEMADE PASTA DOUGH
For years I was terrified to make my own pasta fresh in the kitchen. I’d seen it done in restaurant kitchens, and it looked like a lot of work. Then I finally got brave and made my own homemade pasta dough and now I keep some in the freezer so I don’t have to purchase the dried store bought pasta anymore. This recipe works well with pasta rollers. If you like to eat pasta and don’t have a roller, I highly suggest you get one. It’s worth the money for the amount of work it saves. You can spend as much as $70 or you get this Stainless Steel Roller for only $26.95.
+I’d drink Chardonnay or a Sauvignon Blanc with pasta.
4 Cups All-Purpose Flour
4 large Eggs
Place the flour in a mound in the center of your work surface. I use a marble cutting board, but wood is great too. Make a well in the center of the flour and place crack the eggs into the well.
Using your clean hands, break the egg yolks and begin to incorporate into the flour, starting with only the middle and edges of the well, and working your way outward until you’ve incorporated all of the flour into the eggs. Keep pushing everything toward the center to keep the shape. This step is messy.
Once the dough starts to hold together, start kneading, using the heels of your hands. Once you have a nice mound of dough, continue to knead for about 10 minutes. Dust your board with more flour as needed.
Once your dough is elastic and only a little sticky, portion into 4 separate balls and wrap in plastic wrap and give it a 30 minute nap.
making your noodles
Pasta Roller directions:
Flatten the dough on one end and feed into the pasta machine. Feed it all the way through with the rollers on the largest setting. Once fed through, fold into thirds, and roll again. Repeat this process, narrowing the roller settings as you go, until the dough is the desired thickness. Roll slowly to avoid cracks.
Fettuccine noodles: cut the sheets about every 12 inches. Attach the fettuccine noodle cutter (it has approximately 1/4-inch slats) to the pasta machine and dust it with flour, spinning the roller to coat completely. Feed one end of the pasta sheet into the rollers, and out comes perfect fettuccine. Run the entire sheet through the cutters, then dust the noodles lightly with flour so they don’t stick together. Roll into small nests if you will be storing the pasta. Otherwise, you can drop the noodles right into the water to cook.
Tip: If you’re working with only a portion of the dough at a time, keep the remainder wrapped in plastic to prevent it from drying out.
No pasta machine? No worries. Roll your pasta dough out flat, fold it into thirds, and roll flat again, repeat this about 3-5 times or as long as it takes for the pasta to develop a sheen.
To make noodles, cut the sheets for the length of noodle you prefer (6-12 inches), lightly roll the sheets into a log and using a sharp knife, cut the log at approximately every ¼ inch. Once all of your noodles are cut, unroll them and lightly flour.
Fresh pasta cooks much faster than store bought noodles! Small shapes can take less than a minute. Fettuccine might take five minutes.
storage of pasta noodles and pasta balls
I roll my fettuccine into small nests, and lightly flour before putting in the refrigerator.
You can store fresh pasta in the fridge for 3-5 days, or freeze for up to a month.
Fresh pasta is so much better than dried or frozen. Most important, make sure you keep the stored pasta away from moisture.
Try your homemade pasta with our recipe for Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Pesto.
As always, happy cooking!