Nearly everyone loves pasta, which means it’s always a good choice when you’re trying to think of what to cook for any occasion. However, pasta has a little bit of a reputation for being something that’s simple and nearly foolproof to prepare. If you want to impress a special someone, make a splash at a dinner party or just go above and beyond the standard pasta box, why not try making your own fresh pasta? It may sound like a difficult project, but it’s actually a lot easier than you think!
There are all kinds of recipes you can find to prepare pasta, from whole-wheat varieties to fancy stuffed ravioli. But if you want to start out with the basics, you may want to stick with flat noodles. For a recipe that serves six people, you’ll just need the following ingredients, according to The Art of Manliness:
- 2 3/4 cups flour, plus about 1 cup for dusting
- 6 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt.
All you’ll need for this simple recipe is a mixing bowl or cutting board, a fork, a cool work surface where you can roll out the dough, a rolling pin, plastic wrap, a sharp knife and a baking sheet. According to the Art of Manliness, traditionalists like to use a cutting board instead of a mixing bowl to mix the ingredients together, but if you’re worried about making a mess, it’s better to stick to a bowl.
Start by adding your flour to the bowl or the cutting board, piling it up to make a nice, big mound. Use the backside of a spoon to create a well in the mound of flour where you’ll put the eggs. If you’re working on a cutting board, make sure the edges of the well are high enough so that the six eggs won’t spill over.
When your flour well is ready, crack the eggs one at a time and carefully add them into the center of the flour. Now add the oil and salt.
Use your fingers or a fork to start mixing the eggs, oil and salt within the flour, then slowly and carefully start incorporating the flour into the liquid to form the dough. It doesn’t need to be perfectly smooth just yet, but make sure that you get a soft, doughy consistency. If you need to add a little bit of water to mop up the rest of the flour, don’t hesitate to do so.
Once your dough has come together, dust the remaining flour onto your cool work surface, like your countertop or a marble rolling board. Make sure you have a dusting of flour on your hands, then begin kneading the dough. Use the heels of your hands to push the dough away from you and turn it in on itself, adding flour as you go if necessary.
Once you have a smooth ball of dough, wrap it in the plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge. You should leave it in there for at least 30 minutes, but feel free to let it rest in there overnight if you need to.
When you’re ready to form the pasta, take the dough out of the fridge and cut it into several equally sized pieces. You’ll be rolling and cutting one piece at a time to make it easier to make nice, even noodles.
Take one of the pieces of dough and flour your work surface again. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out flat, starting from the middle and working your way out toward the edges. Keep adding flour if you need to so the dough won’t stick. Roll the dough until it’s thin and almost see-through, then let it sit like that for a few minutes.
Now dust a bit more flour onto the top of the sheet of dough, then fold the dough in half. Keep folding it in half until you reach the other end and are left with a log of dough.
Do this with each piece of dough, then take out your knife and start cutting each log. How thinly you slice each strip is up to you depending on how thick you want your noodles to be.
When you’ve cut all of the logs and have strips of dough left over, unfurl each strip to reveal the noodles. Give them a final dusting and place them on the floured baking sheet.
Once your noodles are good to go, you can either store them in the fridge until you’re ready to cook them or whip them up immediately. Simply add them to a pot of boiling water like you would with a box of premade noodles, but just leave them in there for three or four minutes. Strain and serve with your favorite sauce!
What kind of sauce would you serve with your homemade pasta?