How to make pasta

Lynn Wright / 25 August 2015

Fresh pasta cooks in minutes and tastes delicious. All you need to make the perfect fresh pasta at home is flour, eggs and a little effort.



Making fresh pasta from scratch at home may not be something you’d consider attempting every day. Yet, it’s surprisingly easy to create a batch of silky smooth fresh pasta in less than hour.

So, dust off the pasta maker lurking at the back of the kitchen cupboard and follow our step-by-step guide to making fresh pasta.

Ingredients

Serves 4

  • 200g Italian '00' flour or plain flour
  • 2 medium eggs, beaten
  • A pinch of salt

How to make pasta

1. Place the flour and salt in a food processor, and then add the eggs. Pulse the food processor until the mixture comes together to form small clumps.

To make the dough by hand, place the flour in a mound on a clean work surface and then make a well in the centre. Crack the eggs into the centre and use a fork to gently mix the egg while using your other hand to mix in the flour a little at a time, until it’s all combined.

2. Tip the dough out onto a work surface and knead into a ball shape. Knead for 5 to 10 minutes or so until smooth and stiff. Wrap the dough tightly in cling film and leave it to rest for at least 30 minutes at room temperature.

3. The dough is now ready to roll. Divide the dough in two and flatten each piece out into a disc shape with your hands and feed it through the pasta machine at its widest setting a couple of times. Fold the dough onto itself so that it forms a small rectangle and then roll it through the machine several times more until you’ve a long rectangular shape. Repeat with the second piece of dough.

4. Feed each rectangle of dough through the pasta machine one at a time, working from the widest to narrowest setting – this will thin the pasta. For tagliatelle, stop at the second-to-last setting on the machine. For lasagna or ravioli, roll the pasta to the thinnest setting.

If you haven’t got a pasta machine, use a rolling pin instead. As the challenge may be finding enough room to roll the pasta as thinly as required, divide the dough into several pieces first. Then roll each one separately until thin enough to cut into your pasta shapes.

5. Cut the rolled pasta into whatever shape you require. You can cook your pasta straightaway, dry or freeze it for later. Fresh pasta cooks more quickly than dried pasta so allow about 3 minutes in salted boiling water, then check in one-minute increments until it’s al dente.

TIPS

Also known as dopio zero, '00' flour is finely sieved flour that’s used in Italy for making egg pasta. Look for it in the major supermarkets or specialist grocery stores.

Pasta dries out quickly so cover any dough that you’re not using with a damp tea towel to prevent it drying out.

Try the following delicious pasta recipes: spicy chicken and asparagus pasta,  asparagus, pancetta and parmesan linguine with chive cream and crab linguine with cucumber.

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