You don’t need lots of fancy equipment to make fresh pasta, but it’s definitely a lot of fun to have the fancy equipment. I’ve made fresh pasta tons of times, using everything from a pasta roller, to a rolling pin, to my bare hands. I really wouldn’t recommend that last option. The best part is, it’s ready really fast! Maybe not as fast as boiling water and shaking some Barilla penne into the pot, but it can be ready in 30 minutes. This doesn’t taste like store-bought pasta- store-bought pasta tastes stiff (even if you boil all the life out of it), and kind of stale. This isn’t going to stop me from shoving 10 boxes of pasta into my cart every time I go grocery shopping. I like the fun shapes. I haven’t quite figured out how to make curly cavatappi, or frilly campanelle, but I can make fettuccine that tastes better than any box at the grocery store- and so can you, for the low, low price of $19.99, plus shipping and handling. I haven’t heard anyone talk about shipping and handling on TV for a long time. Either I’m getting old, or Netflix has completely rendered cable TV obsolete for me.
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
That’s all you need. Nothing else. Want to add some salt? It’ll make your pasta taste wonky. Want to add some water? Why, so the dough can fall apart before you even roll it out? Want to add some basil? Go ahead, just make sure it’s dried basil. Dried herbs add a lovely flavor and color to pasta. Start by pouring the flour into the bowl,
then cracking in the eggs. DO NOT USE YOUR HANDS TO MIX IT. It’ll make you feel like a Tuscan grandmother who raises her own pigs for pancetta, but it’ll also ruin the texture of your pasta.
Start by mixing it with a wooden spoon, and when it’s combined into a tacky ball (it won’t be as tacky as anything the president designs (or does (how many parentheses can I fit in here?)), but it won’t be smooth)), knead it with your hands. If you want to be lazy, use the dough hook on your stand mixer. It’ll take more time to unearth your stand mixer, find the dough hook, knead the pasta, clean the dough hook and bowl, and put the stand mixer away than it will to knead the pasta by hand. But if you’re committed to the idea that machines exist to make our lives easier, you do you, and have fun when the robots eventually overthrow us. Tune in next week on allthoseinflavor.com for more recipes and fearmongering!
When the dough is ready, get to rolling it out however you see fit. I love using my pasta machine, but you don’t need props to make pasta. I’ve made it plenty of times just using my rolling pin, and it’s always gone just peachy. The only thing to remember is that it should be extremely thin- semi translucent. You should be able to see through it. Any thicker than that, and the pasta will be viscid and take forever to cook.
When you boil it, only cook it for about 3 minutes- fresh pasta, particularly very thin fresh pasta, cooks lightning fast. Never forget to salt your pasta water!