A simple recipe today, a regular in my kitchen wherever I am in the world. Fresh Homemade Pasta is one of those recipes that everybody should know how to make, and once you’ve made it, I promise, you will be completely hooked. It’s incredible how the combination of three everyday ingredients can result in one of the world’s most delicious foods.
There is something incredibly satisfying about making your own pasta. It is so much more special than simply grabbing a bag of the dried stuff from the supermarket, and elevates even the most simple sauce to culinary perfection. I especially like to cut it into extra-wide ribbons of pappardelle, the ideal carrier for a rich and flavoursome ragu. But they’re just as good with a jar of pesto for a quick meal.
I always use the food processor to mix my pasta dough, as it takes seconds and saves me lots of kneading. However, it is perfectly possible to make pasta completely by hand. I don’t own a pasta machine so I always roll it out with my trusty rolling pin. This takes a bit of patience, but the reward is a wonderfully textured pasta that the sauce clings to perfectly.
I don’t have a huge kitchen, so rather than having pasta hanging and drying off the back of every rail and chair in the house, I’ve discovered that it freezes brilliantly and can be cooked directly from frozen. Of course, if you want to channel your inner Nonna or Nonno and fill the kitchen with slowly drying strands of pasta, go right ahead!
As April draws to a close, hopefully, we can all look forward to May with optimism for the future as restrictions begin to ease around the globe. I hope you have all had time to rest, relax and restore. Take care out there, x J.
Let me know if you try this recipe in the comments below, or using the hashtag #daysofjay on Instagram. Happy cooking!
- 200 g plain flour
- 2 large eggs
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- extra flour for rolling out
Place the flour, eggs and olive oil into the bowl of a food processor with the blade attachment fitted. Run the food processor on high until the dough begins to clump together. Depending on the power of the food processor it will either look like large pebbly crumbs or will have clumped into larger pieces.
Turn the dough out onto a very lightly floured surface. Knead and squeeze the dough until smooth, this should only take a minute. Wrap in cling film and set aside in a warm place for 30 minutes.
**To make by hand, see notes**
When you are ready to roll out your pasta, divide the dough into four. Keep three quarters wrapped in the clingfilm and shape the remaining piece into a rectangle. Flatten slightly with your hand and dust very lightly with flour.
Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out into a long, thin rectangle, turning it over and dusting lightly with flour if it starts to stick. Unlike pastry, you want to stretch the pasta dough. I usually hold one end with my hand while pushing the rolling pin away from me with the other. Be patient and keep rolling the dough until it is slightly see-through.
Dust again with flour, then fold into thirds, like a letter. Use a sharp knife to cut the pasta into the width that you would like, then shake the strips out and curl into loose ‘nests’. Either let the pasta dry on a sheet of baking paper in a sunny window or better, freeze in a single layer if not using immediately.
Repeat with all remaining dough. The pasta can be cooked from frozen, it will need a minute or two longer than fresh, but test as you go so it is the consistency that you like.
- I always use the food processor, as it is the speediest way to make fresh pasta. If you are making it by hand, form a mound of flour on your work surface and create a well in the middle, large enough to hold the eggs and oil. Use a fork to loosely beat the eggs and oil together. Then use the fork to slowly start to incorporate the flour into the wet ingredients, continuing until you have a very rough dough. You’ll need to knead the dough for around 10 minutes until it is smooth and supple.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 782Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 186mgSodium: 75mgCarbohydrates: 124gFiber: 4gSugar: 1gProtein: 23g
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can I use this dough with my pasta rolling machine?
Sure! It will be fine.
Can I make this pasta for more people?
Yes, absolutely! As a general rule, you need 100g flour, 1 egg and 1 Tbsp of oil per person.
I don’t have the ‘real’ pasta rolling pin, can I still make pasta?
You can use whatever you have in the kitchen. I left my rolling pin behind in Italy and used a roll of cling film as a rolling pin for months. I almost preferred it!
Do I have to use special flour to make pasta?
I have made pasta with all sorts of flour, and it seems to be fine with simple plain or all-purpose flour, though the purists will tell you to use Italian ‘Tipo 00’.
Can I make other shapes with this dough?
Of course! I often cut the dough into large sheets to make lasagne, or into squares for making ravioli. You can also make the more unique hand made shapes like orecchiette or farfalle.