Hello Friends and Family,
Today I want to share how we do homemade pasta in our home. First, for us it’s a family project. Not only because we enjoy creating a great meal together, but because its difficult rolling and cutting the delicate noodles on our old hand crank machine alone. Yes, I admit I’m challanged in shaping the pasta. Second, we ‘ll make a batch anytime, even on the weekdays. I love it too much to have it only on weekends or special occasions. So I needed a way to reduce the hands on time before dinner when life can get crazy with family errands or homework. Here’s how I do it.
My dough recipe is based on one from ” Lidia’s Italy”, an awesome cookbook by Lidia Bastianich, which also shares local color from all across the regions of Italy (I love it). I replaced the 3 eggs and 3 egg yolks in the recipe with 4 extra large eggs and 1 yolk. Also I added a pinch of salt to the recipe for flavor.
Now here’s the trick that lets me pull together fresh pasta on a weeknight. In the morning the dough is mixed, kneaded and shaped in a ball, then it can be wrapped in plastic and rest all day in the fridge. This cuts down on time in the evening and makes the dough silkier and even more elastic to work. It’s wonderful. You could also make several batches of dough on a Sunday and freeze the disks double wrapped first in plastic then tin foil to stay fresh for the week. Just bring it to room temperature before shaping your pasta.
My pasta roller is a very basic machine, a low end unit bought years ago, but it keeps rolling and cutting the basic fettuccine we enjoy. If you’ve never made pasta and don’t have a machine I encourage you to still try the recipe. I’ve seen the dough shaped with a rolling pin (or even a wine bottle) and cut with a knife. There are tons videos on YouTube for inspiration. Try making fresh pasta once to compare, it’s an amazing flavor and so much better when you know what’s in your food.
Recipe for Fresh Pasta Dough for Fettuccine
3 cups “OO” flour ( or all purpose)
4 extra large eggs
1 egg yolk
3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil ( any one with a taste you enjoy)
Ice water as needed
Pulse flour and salt once or twice in food processor . Mix eggs and olive oil together then pour through the food tube with the processor running. If the dough doesn’t gather together add ice water a teaspoon at a time until it does. If the dough smears against the side of the bowl add a smalll amount of flour.
Knead the dough for 3 or 4 minutes on a floured surface, again if it’s sticky dust with more flour. When it’s silky and smooth wrap then leave to rest un-refrigerated for 1/2 hour, for a day in the fridge, or for a week in the freezer. Once it’s back at room temperature, roll and cut with the instructions for your pasta machine. I roll my dough twice through every setting down to number 4, where I can see my hand through the dough. For this thickness I cook the pasta in boiling water for 4 or 5 minutes, drain and sauce.
When I started making pasta it helped me to take a cooking class (Draeger’s in Danville, Ca.) to see and feel the dough. It might help you to watch an on-line video to know how the dough should look. Or just jump in and have fun. Either way I encourage you to try, it will taste great!