When you make a delicious Italian meal at home, most of us open a box of pasta without giving it much thought. Pasta is so readily available that buying it in the store is certainly the easiest approach. However, it isn’t the tastiest! Fresh homemade pasta is far superior in texture and flavor compared to boxed pasta. And, it isn’t as hard as it looks to make pasta at home.
Choosing the Flour
While there are just two ingredients to homemade pasta – flour and eggs – not every type of flour are created equally. Some are better than others when it comes to making homemade pasta. The two most common types of flour are standard all-purpose flour and semolina flour, made from durum wheat. Semolina flour is fairly common in Italy and is the flour that is most often used by Italians to make homemade pasta. Even though semolina is readily available in the United States, it’s not always easy to find and can be fairly pricey. When you make your pasta at home, you may want to test both types of flour to see which you prefer. No matter which flour you choose, the method for making pasta dough is the same.
Mix Flour and Eggs
The basic method to make your pasta at home is to mound 3 ½ cups of flour on a large, clean cutting board and make an indentation in the center. Scramble 4 large eggs in a separate bowl and pour directly into the mound. Using a fork, work the dough until the flour and eggs are well mixed.
Knead the dough for a minute or two and add more flour in small increments (about ¼ cup) until the dough is smooth. Knead for another three minutes. At this point, the dough should be smooth and elastic and still a little sticky, but not to the point where it sticks to your fingers. If it does, keep adding flour. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and leave on the counter at room temperature for a few minutes.
Forming the Pasta
Once you let the dough rest on the counter, you can roll it out and form it into any shape that you want. You can either do this by hand or by using a pasta machine. To form the dough by hand, simply roll it out with a rolling pin to your desired thickness and cut it into shapes using a sharp knife. Pasta that is formed by hand has a rustic quality, as the shapes tend to be uneven. Many cooks prefer this method to the machine-formed version. However, the easiest option is to use a pasta machine. Most pasta makers have different attachments, which will allow you to make various shapes. If you decide to use a machine, just follow the manufacturer’s instructions. No matter how you decide to form the dough, the method is still the same. Once you form the pasta, you can either choose to dry it out or cook it right away. Most people prefer to cook it right away. From there, you can top it with any sauce you desire.
We hope you enjoy our make your own pasta at home recipe, Bon Appétit!