Back to Basics : Fresh Pasta

Earlier  I talked about how we wanted to help and share information on our lifestyle with others in this time of uncertainty. I thought the first thing we would share was how to make fresh pasta!

One of my favorite things to make lately is fresh pasta.  It is always such a quick and easy dinner. I tend to use whatever is in the pantry. Which is usually all purpose flour of fresh milled flour. Once your pasta is all made, you can cook it right away, freeze it or dry it for later use.

So below is everything you need to know to make a light, delicate fresh pasta. Do you have flour, eggs and salt in your kitchen? Well then you can make fresh pasta! Are you ready? Let’s make some pasta!

To make the basic pasta dough recipe is quite simple and easy it is to remember.

Fresh Egg Pasta
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 Large egg
  • Pinch of salt
  1. Combine the flour and salt on your counter.
  2. create a deep well in the middle of the flour and crack the eggs into well. Whisk the eggs with a fork to combine.
  3. Begin combining the flour and Eggs. As you whisk the eggs, begin gradually pulling in the flour from the bottom and sides of your well. Don’t go too quickly with this. At first the eggs will look like a slurry. Once enough of the flour has been added, it will start forming a very soft dough.
  4. Once combined start to knead the dough. Begin to fold the dough on itself. Flattening and folding, over and over.
  5.  It will be extremely soft at first but will gradually start to firm. if needed incorporate a little flour at a time to help prevent the dough from sticking to the counter.
  6. I like to cut into the dough to check for bubbles. if you see bubbles keep kneading. The dough is ready to rest when it is a smooth elastic ball and has very few bubbles when cut.
  7. Let the dough Rest. Place dough inside a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit for at least 30 minutes then let it come back up to room temperature before rolling out.
  8. Divide dough into four equal parts. Dust the portions with flour and cover with a clean dishtowel.
  9. Begin rolling our the pasta. Set your pasta machine to the thickest setting. Flatten one piece of dough into a thick disc and feed it through the pasta roller. Repeat once or twice. Fold into thirds and run back through the machine.
  10. Begin changing the setting on your pasta roller until you get to the desired thickness. Cut and cook.

I double the recipe when I make pasta for just the husband and I. You can use a stand mixer but I always really enjoy making it by hand.

There are a few things to keep in mind when you make pasta:
1- As the pasta rests the moisture will distribute through the dough and will become softer and easier to work with. You may have to add up to 1/2 tablespoon of water to make the dough come together, but don’t add too much, the dough really comes together and becomes smooth after 10 minutes of kneading. Make sure to rest it at least 30 minutes or the texture won’t be right.
2- When you are rolling out your pasta, start on the widest setting in the pasta machine. You have to ‘laminate’ the pasta, which basically means putting it through the machine, folding it in half, decreasing the width of the pasta machine, putting it through the machine, folding it in half, until you get the desired thickness.
3- Depending on the type of pasta you are making, you will want different thickness to the dough. For pasta like ravioli or tortellini, I like to make it as thin as possible so that the edges (where there are two pieces of pasta stuck together) are still tender.
4- If you are making long strands of pasta, like fettuccine or linguine, flour your sheet of pasta well (once it’s completely rolled out to the thickness you want), cut it so the longest part is the length you want your pasta to be, roll it up loosely and cut the pasta according to the width you want (check out the pictures above for more clarity). If you don’t flour the sheet before you cut it, it will be a total pain to unroll.

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