This family dinner classic isn't as hard to make as it looks
Some things are just better when they're made from scratch—and making something with your own two hands provides such satisfaction. When you cook from scratch, you know exactly what ingredients go into your meals, and it offers you the flexibility to adjust your recipe for dietary or taste preferences.
Making pasta from scratch is not as daunting as it might seem, and the time invested is 100 percent worth the reward. You don’t need a pasta maker, just a rolling pin and a sharp knife, but the pasta machine will definitely speed things along (especially if you have the attachment for a stand mixer). It may take you a try or two, so give yourself an afternoon to experiment...
- Two cups “00” Flour (AP will also work), plus more for dusting and rolling
- Four eggs
- Sprinkle of kosher salt
- In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt together, and then create a well in the center.
- Crack the four eggs into the well, and then with a fork or your fingers, beat them together slightly. Once broken up, start adding the flour from the sides to the mixture, until a loose dough has formed.
- On a floured surface, dump the dough out and begin kneading it for five to seven minutes, adding flour as needed if it is too wet. The dough is ready when it is smooth, and if you poke it, it slowly springs back.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- When ready, cut the dough into four equal-ish pieces, wrapping the three you are not using back in the plastic wrap.
- On the floured surface begin to roll the dough into a rectangle, then fold together like an envelope (if you are using a machine you can begin to pass it though). After laminating it a few times, start to roll it (either physically, or on smaller and smaller settings on your pasta maker) until it is quite thin and uniform. Continue to thoroughly dust it with flour as needed.
- You can now cut it into whatever shape you’d like. If you have an attachment for your machine, run the pasta through and sprinkle with flour again, forming into nests if using immediately. If you want to cut wider strips, fold the sheet of pasta accordion-style and cut evenly with a sharp knife.
- To dry it, find yourself a pasta-drying rack. (It also freezes very well this way!)
- To cook, bring heavily-salted water to a boil, and gently drop the fresh pasta in. It only takes a few minutes to cook, depending on the shape and thickness. Keep watch, and have your sauce ready to go! (Frozen pasta will take a few extra seconds to cook.)
Makes four to six servings