There’s nothing more delicious than a big bowl of homemade pasta. Don’t let the bit of extra effort deter you; while time-consuming, homemade pasta is not difficult to make. With a little practice, it’ll become your new go-to for entertaining, special occasions, and getting any little ones involved in the kitchen. The dough comes together in just a few minutes, then after a quick rest, you’re ready to press it and cut it into whatever pasta shapes you like. You can even turn this same recipe into homemade ravioli (you’ll find simple tutorials online).
I like following the recipe below- it consistently delivers good results, and the texture is forgiving to work with. Some tips I’ve collected along the way:
Give your dough at least 30 minutes to rest at room temperature (or up to 2 hours). This allows the gluten to relax, and the flour to fully absorb, ensuring your dough remains elastic.
Cook your pasta for a very brief amount of time (1-2 minutes usually does it)- fresh pasta cooks in a flash, and quickly turns mushy when overcooked.
Make sure your pasta cooking water is as salty as the sea- this flavors the pasta from the inside out.
Reserve 1 cup of your pasta cooking water before you drain it, then immediately toss the pasta back in the pan with the sauce of your choice, using the cooking water to thin the sauce out as needed. The residual starch gives your sauce body.
Never get your pasta machine wet (it’ll rust)- use the accompanying brush to clean out any dough or flour when finished.
Basic Pasta Dough
3 eggs, beaten
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Extra flour for rolling
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, combine everything with a dough hook until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed, and knead the dough with the hook for about 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can mix everything in a bowl by hand, then knead the dough by hand until smooth and elastic.
Form into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and allow to rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before rolling. When ready to roll, cut the dough into quarters, so you can do one at a time. Keep the pieces you’re not working on covered in plastic wrap.
Depending on your pasta machine, you’ll want to roll the dough on each setting 2-3 times, making sure to not skip a setting. Start with the widest setting (usually 1), and work your way up from there. Flatten the dough with your hands, dust sparingly with extra flour, and feed it through the machine. Fold it once, and feed it through again. If the sheet gets to long, cut it and continue.
You don’t need to go to the thinest setting, usually 4-6 is sufficient depending on your machine. When your dough is all rolled out, you can cut it or turn it into ravioli. You can either hang the cut noodles to keep them from sticking, or arrange them on a baking sheet and toss them with cornmeal.
Cook the pasta in heavily salted boiling water for 1-3 minutes- you’ll know its done when it turns light in color. Toss with sauce, and enjoy!