Mike and I got back from Italy two weeks ago. It was incredible; we had such a fantastic time. We flew into Milan, rented a car, and drove around the northern/central regions of Italy, spending a few days in Lucca, Siena, Florence and Venice. The scenery was gorgeous and the food was incredible. We already want to go back.
I actually made this several weeks before we went on our trip, but have a bit of a backlog right now from travel and getting back to everyday stuff. Homemade pasta seems really intimidating, but is actually pretty easy, and if you have a pasta machine it makes the rolling process simple.
Homemade Fresh PastaBarely adapted from Cooks Illustrated This recipe makes about 1 pound of fresh pasta. I use my grandparent’s old Marcato Atlas pasta machine which rolls to 7 different thicknesses; I rarely use the 7th setting. We enjoyed this batch with homemade Bolognese. 2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour 3 large eggs, beaten
Add flour to bowl of food processor. Pulse flour to aerate and evenly distribute. Add eggs and process until it forms a rough ball, about 30 seconds. The dough should come together in one large mass (a few small bits and pieces separate from the large ball is okay). If your dough is too dry, and does not come together, add 1/2 teaspoon of water while processor is running; repeat one more time if needed. If your dough is too wet, sticks to the sides of the processor, and is tacky, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time until the dough clears the sides of the bowl without sticking.
Turn dough ball, and any small bits, onto a dry work surface. Knead until the dough is smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes. Lightly flour counter, set dough ball on top and cover with plastic wrap to relax for at least 15 minutes (or up to 2 hours).
Divide dough into four to six portions (I do 4); working with one portion at a time, roll pasta out using pasta machine. Set machine at widest setting. Roll dough through, fold into thirds, and press (this will help knead and form an even sheet). Feed folded sheet back through the widest setting; repeat folding and rolling 1 to 2 more times. Roll dough through widest setting 2-3 additional times, without folding, until smooth. Dust pasta lightly with flour if dough becomes sticky, but be very conservative with the flour.
Roll pasta thinner by lowering the gauge on the pasta machine each time (do not skip thicknesses!). General rule of thumb, you want to be able to see your hand through the sheet of pasta. I adapt the thickness based on the pasta I’m making. Typically I roll it to the 6th setting on my machine for pastas like lasagnette (pictured above), tagliatelle, lasagna sheets, hand cut pappradelle, and hand cut fazzoletti. For spaghetti I’ll use the 5th setting so it’s a bit thicker.
Let rolled and cut pasta dry for at least 15 minutes on paper towels or drying rack before cooking; keep pasta strands as separated as possible so they don’t stick. Cook fresh pasta in boiling, salted water until al dente.
Don’t have a pasta cutting attachment? No problem!
Homemade pappardelle – Cut rolled sheets of pasta into 12-15″ long sections. Using a pasty wheel (fluted or flat side), cut sheets into 3/4″ to 1″ strips
Homemade fazzoletti – Cut rolled sheets of pasta into squares about 4″ in size.