How to Make Fresh Pasta
Making fresh pasta is a therapeutic exercise that involves kneading and rolling a velvety dough not to mention the absolute pleasure of eating your perfect creations.
All you need to make fresh pasta are two ingredients and a couple of hours spare time. A pasta machine isn’t essential but it does speed up things.
1. Place 400g italian “00” flour in a mound on a clean work surface. Make a well in centre. Break 4 eggs into the well. Use a fork to whisk the eggs and gradually mix into flour. This keeps the “wall” of flour around the eggs and stops them running out.
2. Use your hands to bring the dough together. Knead for 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic. To knead the dough, use the heel of your hand to firmly push down and away from you. Fold in half, turn 90 degrees and repeat. Shape into a disc, dust with flour and wrap in plastic wrap. Set aside for 30 minutes to rest.
3. Divide dough into 4 portions. Wrap 3 portions in plastic wrap. Flatten 1 dough portion. (Folding the dough into thirds and turning it 90 degrees before rolling results in a smooth sheet of pasta with an even thickness) Set pasta machine’s rollers to the widest setting. Feed the dough through machine. Repeat 6 times, folding dough into thirds and turning it 90 degrees to machine each time, until smooth and same width as machine.
4. Continue feeding dough through, tightening the rollers by 1 notch each time, until you reach the second last setting. Gradually reducing the space between the rollers ensures the pasta is an even thickness and develops a firm but tender texture.
5. Fit machine with cutting attachment. Feed dough through. repeat with remaining dough portions.
TIPS AND TRICKS
No pasta maker?
Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough, folding and rotating each time as above, until 3-4mm thick for flat pasta or 2mm thick for filled pasta.
How to hand-cut pasta
Roll up a pasta sheet lengthways into a log. Use a sharp knife to cut the log into 1cm-thick slices for fettuccine or 2.5cm-thick slices for pappardelle. Unroll and dust with flour.
Before cooking fresh pasta, drape over a clean broom handle, railing or cupboard door for 15-30 minutes to dry. Otherwise it may stick together when cooking.
How to cook
Add fresh pasta to a saucepan of salted boiling water, stir once and cook for 2-3 minutes or until al dente.
How to store
Dust fresh uncooked pasta with flour. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.