I had this brilliant idea this past weekend to make my own pasta entirely by hand (well, two hands and a rolling pin). My plan was to demonstrate that you don’t need any fancy mixer attachments or pasta machines to make delicious homemade pasta. All you need is eggs and flour. Kneading dough isn’t difficult, so it was going to be quick and easy, right?
Wrong. Oh so very wrong.
There is a reason why the pasta machine was invented back in the 1600’s. Today, there are two great kitchen appliances to help you out: KitchenAid Stand Mixer Attachments or a countertop pasta maker like the Marcato Atlas Wellness 150 Pasta Maker. Both will make your life much easier. However, if you don’t mind putting in a little elbow grease, then I’ve got you covered. I’m not going to sugar-coat this: it does take a little work.
I served my homemade pappardelle with veal meatballs and tomato sauce. You can find the veal meatball recipe on That Oven Feelin’ later this week! It’s a good one.
Step-By-Step Homemade Pasta Instructions:
1. Pour the flour into a mound on a working surface. Using your hands, create a large well in the center of the flour. Make sure the well is large enough to keep the eggs from spilling out (mine looked a bit like a flowing volcano). Add all of the eggs to the well.
2. Use a fork to break the egg yolks and slowly incorporate the flour.
3. Once all the flour has been incorporated, shape the dough into a ball and start kneading. The dough should be slightly tacky, but workable.
4. Knead the dough until the air bubbles have disappeared. To test for air bubbles, cut the dough with a paring knife. If a lot of air bubbles are present, keep kneading.
5. Once the dough is smooth, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for at least 30 minutes. This is very important.
6. Cut the dough into smaller pieces.
7. Using a rolling pin, flatten one piece of dough. Fold the dough into thirds, then flatten again. Repeat a few times to develop the gluten.
8. Roll the dough out into a large rectangle, making it as thin as possible. Sprinkle a little extra flour on your worktop to keep the dough from sticking.
9. Then, sprinkle a little flour over the dough to keep it from sticking to itself. Gently roll the dough up.
10. Using a sharp knife, cut the rolled up dough into pieces. For wider noodles like pappardelle, cut the dough into pieces between 3/4 of an inch to an inch in width.
11. Immediately unroll the pieces of dough as you cut them. Toss with flour and set aside. Repeat with remaining dough.
For flavored pasta, add herbs, tomato paste, saffron, or peppers to the dough during kneading. You may need to adjust the amount of flour when adding additional ingredients.
- 1½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1½ cup semolina flour
- 4 eggs, at room temperature
- flour for dusting
- salt for cooking
- Mix the all-purpose and semolina flour together in a medium bowl.
- Pour the flour out onto a working surface and shape into a mound. Using your hands, press down the center to create a large well.
- Pour the eggs into the well in the center of the flour. Break the yolks with a fork. Using small, circular strokes, start incorporating the flour into the eggs. Once the dough begins to form, use your hands to shape it into a ball.
- Knead the dough until it is smooth. Using a paring knife, cut the dough open. If you are able to see a large amount of air bubbles, knead for a few more minutes. Then, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for at least 30 minutes.
- After resting, cut the dough into 4 to 8 pieces. This will make the dough easier to roll out. Grab one piece and roll the dough out thinly with a rolling pin on a floured working surface. Fold the dough over into thirds and roll out again. Finally, roll the dough out as thinly as possible into a large rectangle.
- Sprinkle a little flour onto the sheet of dough. Roll the dough up and cut into pieces with a sharp knife. For wider noodles like pappardelle, cut the dough into pieces between ¾ of an inch to an inch in width. Unroll the pieces as you cut them and place the long strands on a baking sheet. Toss with flour and repeat with remaining balls of dough.
- Cover with plastic wrap until ready for use. This will allow the pasta to dry slightly before use. Cook in salted boiling water for about 5 minutes, or until tender.
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