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Fresh Pasta

Fresh Pasta

There are some wonderful store-bought pastas but the difference in fresh, homemade pasta and boxed is really quite remarkable.

Tender to the tooth with an almost creamy-like texture, homemade pasta is utterly luxurious. There are three steps in making fresh pasta – making the dough, rolling and cutting, then finally cooking the pasta. Made with just four ingredients, the hardest work is kneading the dough and that only requires a little “elbow grease” of sorts!

When making pasta dough you can use all-purpose flour, but if you can find “00” flour you’ll have a very delicate pasta. You can find it in most fine food markets or online. Doppio Zero – double zero – is simply flour that has been finely ground specifically for making pizza or pasta dough. Add kosher salt, eggs and extra-virgin olive oil and you’ve got the makings of some of the best pasta you’ll put in your mouth!

To roll the dough you’ll need a pasta machine. There are a number of options, most operated by the means of a hand crank. If you’re lucky enough to own a KitchenAid stand mixer you’re in luck – they make a set of pasta attachments that lock onto the mixer leaving both your hands free to handle the dough. Rolling requires nothing more than folding and feeding the dough with beautiful results.

Once you’ve rolled the pasta dough you can run the dough through the cutting attachments or hand cut a spectacular pappardelle.

When you’re ready to cook, separate and drop the strands of pasta into a pot of heavily salted, boiling water – adding a touch of olive oil if you’d like. In a few short minutes you’re ready to enjoy your efforts.

A gorgeous wide noodle, pappardelle noodle is perfect for soaking up your favorite sauce or equally wonderful tossed with olive oil and shaved Parmesan. But no matter how you cut it, fresh pasta will make you very happy!

Fresh Pasta

2-1/2 cups flour, preferably “00” flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

4 extra-large eggs

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

In a large bowl mix the flour and kosher salt together. Using your hand or a spoon, make a well in the center.

Add the eggs along with the olive oil.

Using your hands or a sturdy wooden spoon, mix the flour into the eggs and olive oil. Continue mixing until you’ve worked in as much of the flour as possible. The dough will be rough in texture.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.

Using the heel of your hands, knead the dough, folding and turning as you go. Continue kneading until the dough feels almost “silky” and has a smooth texture. This takes about five minutes.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes but no more than an hour. When you’re ready to roll, cut the dough into four pieces.

Working with one piece at a time, slightly flatten the pasta dough. (Keep the other pieces of dough covered.) Start with the widest setting and begin feeding the dough through the machine. If you’re using a KitchenAid attachment start with the “1” setting and turn the mixer on low speed.

After each pass through on the first setting, fold the pasta dough in half. Continue folding and feeding into the roller until the dough is smooth and pliable, adding a light dusting of flour as you go. Run the dough through on this setting about four to five times to finish kneading the dough.

Turn the setting to the next level and run the dough through once, changing the setting after each pass until you reach your preferred thickness. (I stop at “6” on the KitchenAid pasta maker.) About halfway through rolling cut the length of dough in half to make it easier to handle.

Once you’ve rolled the pasta to your preferred thickness you can cut it into any style or shape. If you’re making pappardelle, lightly dust the dough then fold it in half lengthwise, and in half again. Cut the pasta into strips about 1” wide.

Unfold the pieces and hang the pasta on a drying rack or spread it out in a single layer on a kitchen towel while you roll the remaining dough.

At this point you can cook the fresh pasta by dropping it into a large pot of boiling water that has been heavily salted. Gently loosen the pasta strands as you drop them into the water. Cook for 3 minutes or until the pasta is just tender; drain but do not rinse.

If you’re not planning to cook the pasta right away let it air dry for about 30 minutes. Then gently roll or fold the pasta and place it into a container or freezer bag. You can refrigerate the pasta for 24 hours or freeze it for up to 6 months.

If you freeze the pasta there’s no need to thaw it before cooking – just drop it into the boiling water and cook as normal. Makes about a pound of pasta, enough for 4 to 6 servings.

This is a basic pasta recipe – you can add your own twist with cracked pepper or other herbs and spices.

Fresh Pasta, courtesy of Preserving Good Stock

July 30, 2018
: 4 to 6

Tender to the tooth with an almost creamy-like texture, homemade pasta is utterly luxurious.

By:

Ingredients
  • 2-1/2 cups flour, preferably “00” flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 extra-large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Directions
  • Step 1 In a large bowl mix the flour and kosher salt together and make a well in the center.
  • Step 2 Add the eggs along with the olive oil. Using your hands or a sturdy wooden spoon, mix the flour into the eggs and olive oil. Continue mixing until you’ve worked in as much of the flour as possible. The dough will be somewhat rough in texture.
  • Step 3 Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Using the heel of your hands, knead the dough, folding and turning as you go. Continue kneading until the dough feels almost “silky” and has a smooth texture. This takes about five minutes.
  • Step 4 Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes but no more than an hour.
  • Step 5 When you’re ready to roll, cut the dough into four pieces. Working with one piece at a time, slightly flatten the pasta dough. (Keep the other pieces of dough covered.) Start with the widest setting and begin feeding the dough through the machine. If you’re using a KitchenAid attachment start with the “1” setting and turn the mixer on low speed.
  • Step 6 After each pass through the pasta maker fold the pasta dough in half. Continue folding and feeding into the roller until the dough is smooth and pliable, adding a light dusting of flour as you go. Run the dough through on this setting about four to five times to finish kneading the dough.
  • Step 7 Turn the setting to the next level and run the dough through once, changing the setting after each pass until you reach your preferred thickness. (I stop at “6” on the KitchenAid pasta maker.) About halfway through rolling cut the length of dough in half to make it easier to handle.
  • Step 8 Once you’ve rolled the pasta to your preferred thickness you can cut it into any style or shape. If you’re making pappardelle, lightly dust the dough then fold it in half lengthwise, and in half again. Cut the pasta into strips about 1” wide. Unfold the pieces and hang the pasta on a drying rack or spread it out in a single layer on a kitchen towel while you roll the remaining dough.
  • Step 9 At this point you can cook the fresh pasta by dropping it into a large pot of boiling water that has been heavily salted. Gently loosen the pasta strands as you drop them into the water. Cook for 3 minutes or until the pasta is just tender then drain but do not rinse.
  • Step 10 If you’re not planning to cook the pasta right away let it air dry for about 30 minutes. Then gently roll or fold the pasta and place it into a container or freezer bag. You can refrigerate the pasta for 24 hours or freeze it for up to 6 months.
  • Step 11 If you freeze the pasta there’s no need to thaw it before cooking – just drop it into the boiling water and cook as normal.
  • Step 12 This is a basic pasta recipe and you can add your own twist with cracked pepper or other herbs and spices.


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