Friends coming over for dinner? Want to impress the in laws with an extra special meal? Just want to whip out something healthy and nutritious for your family, maybe using that surplus of eggs your ladies are laying? I’ve got the answer for you: HOMEMADE NOODLES!
Making your own pasta is A. fun B. a little tricky C. mostly really easy and D. super rewarding and delicious! I have a rad pasta “maker” which takes a lot of the effort out of it, but you can make pasta with a good ole fashioned rolling pin just as easily. If you’re in the market for a pasta maker – keep your eyes peeled in thrift stores. You don’t need a fancy or expensive press, so buying new isn’t out of the question either. Good enough pasta makers can be had for under $30.00.
Here’s my basic recipe and a few tips to hone your pasta making routine:
- 4 eggs (average sized)
- ~2.5 – 3 cups flour
- tsp olive oil
- tsp salt
- up to 1 T water on hand
The basic recipe for pasta is “enough eggs mixed with enough flour to get the right textured dough.” This can be a bit frustrating and unspecific, but start by piling your flour, reserving up to a 1/4 cup for working in later, crack the eggs onto the mound and mix in with your hands. You’re gonna get gooey, so take off your rings! Mix and then need until you get a crumbly, almost holding together dough. Keep kneading. It’s going to feel a bit dry, but you can sprinkle a little water if it’s really crumbly. After 5 or so minutes of kneading you should be able to break the ball of dough into 4 balls and knead them into stuck-together-ball shape. Dampen a cloth and set on top of dough. Allow dough to rest 30 minutes. This step is key!
After the dough has rested, it will become extremely more elastic and ready for the roller. If you try to roll it right away, you will be upset with me. Working with each ball, flatten the ball a bit and feed it into your pasta maker at its widest setting. (i will revise this post later on with some photos of me using my pasta maker.) Run each ball through at the widest setting about 4 times or more. Tip: clear your counter before pasta making. I work each ball, one at a time, then return to the first. For example: roll out ball number 1 on widest setting 4 times. Lay on counter. Follow with ball number two. Lay on counter next to ball number one. Repeat. Moving from one ball to the next and starting again allows the pasta dough to rest between pressings. Once you’ve ‘kneaded’ each portion with teh pasta maker, it’s time to get them skinny! Pass the dough through the next smallest setting. Then the next. Then the smallest. Set aside. Repeat for next portion. Now you can make noodles! My pasta maker has an attachment for fettucini and spaghetti. I made spaghetti this time. Isn’t it purty? Drape over a curtain rod, drying rack or some other horizontal bar until it’s time to cook.
Cooking the pasta is easy. The effort is in heating the water. You need a BIG vat of water so the pasta has room to jump around. Put your big pot of water on to boil way sooner than you need it. Once the water is boiling, carefully drop the pasta in and cook until it’s floating at the top. It won’t take long!
Serve with a simple sauce or some sauteed veggies in delicious olive oil and local cheese. Serving homemade pasta is sure to impress, and it really wasn’t THAT hard to make – but your guests don’t need to know that!
Making pasta is fun and you can throw all sorts of fun flavors in – have you ever made it? What’s your basic recipe?