It took me a long time, but I finally did it. I made my own pasta.
Being a vegetarian in college, pasta was pretty much all I ate. I had mac and cheese far too often and when it wasn’t mac and cheese, it was some frozen pasta meal. I first discovered fresh pasta when I was in Atlanta and I went to this amazing little place called Figo. The simplest dishes were amazing because of the pasta. When I started food blogging, I thought it’d be cool to make pasta. The first attempt epic failed as I explained here. This means that I can explain all the things to NOT do when making fresh pasta. That way you have a better chance of getting it right on the first try!
When perusing for a fresh pasta recipe, I found a lot that required special ingredients. I don’t like that. I always try to make my recipes with easy to find ingredients or explain where people can get the ingredients I use. Tipo 00 flour is not something most people have, so why use it if you want people to make your recipes? And now, without further ado, “Fresh Pasta – Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love All-Purpose Flour.”
Recipe (found initially at Food Network):
1 lb all-purpose flour (Weigh this out using a scale. Cheap ones can be bought at wal-mart or target)
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup olive oil
1-2 tbsp water
1/2 tsp salt
Active Time: 30 minutes
Inactive Time: 1.5 hours
Servings: 8 servings
First off, don’t try to change up the recipe on your first try. I tried to add some whole-wheat flour. That did not work at all. Really really bad.
Make sure you have a lot of room. You’ll need a clean surface that is about 18″x18″ at least. Place the flour on the surface and make a huge hole in the middle. It should be like a 1.5″ ring of flour with an 8″ hole in the middle. I made my well too small and everything spilled out the first time. It was baaaad. Err on the side of too big than too small.
Add everything else to the flour well. Begin to mix everything together with a fork. Very carefully begin adding in the flour. Don’t break the edges of the well or everything will spill out and get all over the counter and the floor and your pants. I did that too, it was bad too. Once the mixture begins to solidify, you can break the edges to mix all the flour in. Begin to mix with your hands when you can’t use the fork any more. Add more water if you have too much trouble mixing, add more flour if the dough isn’t coming together.
Once all the ingredients are mixed begin to knead. I link this video every time I say “knead” and I’m going to link it here again. This is a very useful tutorial on kneading. The pasta dough is going to be a little tougher than the dough in the video, but the technique is still the same. Once the dough is elastic and smooth, wrap it in plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for at least 1 hour. Don’t try to do this fast and skip the resting. I did that too…it made the pasta have a really weird texture.
Divide the dough into 4 parts. Roll one part out using a pasta machine or a rolling pin until it is about 1 mm thick (very thin). If you roll much thinner, the pasta will start ripping and that’s unpleasant when you worked so hard (yes, I did this too). Sprinkle the rolled out pasta with a little flour so the pasta doesn’t stick together. Then use a pizza cutter or a pasta cutter, cut the pasta into strips that are about 1/4 inch (1/2 cm) thick. Hang the pasta to dry over the back of a chair or anywhere safe and out of the way. Repeat this with all the other parts.
Cook the pasta as you would normal pasta. To save, roll about 1 serving of the pasta around your hand and freeze. Cook this pasta as you would for normal pasta as well.
Enjoy and don’t be afraid to go for second helpings!