Preparing fresh pasta by hand will likely be one of the more pleasurable cooking activities you’ll experience. Not only is this easy to make at home, but the fresh pasta will taste like it’s being served directly from a family kitchen in Italy. Molto Bene!
I’ve made pasta two different ways: by hand (more difficult and challenging to cut) and using a pasta machine (this is my preferred option, though you’ll need to pick up a machine – not to worry, Christmas is coming). If rolling and cutting by hand, the pasta will still taste great; it will usually just leave you with pasta strips that are thicker than you would get from a machine. Either way you make this though, this is much more impressive to dinner guests that emptying a store-bought package of pasta into a pot of boiling water.
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Prepare a clean workspace and pour out the flour and salt to form a well, large enough to hold the eggs. Crack the eggs into the hole and lightly beat or toss with a fork.
2. When the egg and flour mixture is thick enough not to run, push the remaining flour into the middle with your hands and gently mix to form dough. When the dough has stiffened move into a different corner of the work surface. Knead the dough until it holds together well. If sticky, add more flour. Do not let it get too dry.
3. Continue to knead with slow steady motion. Knead until it feels smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes before stretching it.
4. If using a pasta machine, cut the dough into fourths. Flatten one piece at a time into a rough circle and pass it through the widest setting of the machine. Decrease the notch gradually and pass the dough through another time. Repeat 3-4 times. When the desired thickness and elasticity is achieved, run the dough through the machine using the “spaghetti” or “fettucini” setting to cut the pasta. Let hang to dry. When boiling the pasta, cut your boiling time by half as fresh pasta doesn’t need as long.
5. If you don’t have a pasta machine, roll the dough with a rolling pin onto a well floured surface until flat and rectangular. Use a sharp knife to cut the pasta into thin strips to the desired thickness. Let hang to dry.