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Effervescent storyteller.

Welcome to My Modern Diary, an electronic journal filled with tales of nostalgic cuisine, wistful wanderings & personal recollections by Sarah Orman.

Homemade pasta dough

Homemade pasta dough

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After several weeks of trial and error, I'm finally sharing my recipe for homemade pasta dough.

As you know from my beef ragù post, I'm a huge lover of pasta. In addition to regularly craving a bowl full of Italy's best invention, I've been fascinated by how so few ingredients can be mindbogglingly complicated when it comes to making pasta since I don't recall when. With nothing more than two basic ingredients; flour and eggs, it's hard to believe there are so many variations out there, each claiming to be the better than the last for no apparently obvious reason.

I was once intimidated by the idea of make fresh pasta dough at home. I first tried my hand at it several years ago after my mom bought me a traditional hand crank pasta machine for Christmas. I was deterred immediately after the first attempt, the whole process was so much work and I was literally all fingers and thumbs trying to hold the pasta dough and turn the handle on the outrageously heavy and clunky contraption. The result was a barely edible pasta that lacked flavor and finesse.

Fast-forward a couple of years to a glorious early spring in a picture-perfect Tuscan villa. After a whirlwind trip to Istanbul to kick-off our honeymoon, hubby and I spent four nights in rural Italy, enjoying the slow-pace of Italian life and eating our way through the most incredible regional cuisine. One of our favorite memories was a cooking class at our hotel, Monteverdi. In the same kitchen Rachael Ray cooked-up an Italian storm, Erkan and I spent the afternoon getting to know Monteverdi's Chef and another young couple from Boston, who were the only other folks at the resort during our stay. Ordinarily the hotel wouldn't have offered the class, however, after seeking out the resort's other two other guests and asking them if they cared to join us, the staff at Monteverdi kindly made an exception.

Pasta was of course one of the dishes on our locally-sourced four-course menu. Delicate pillows of thinly rolled dough stuffed with fresh herbs and soft cheese from the Val d'Orcia were accompanied by a light pesto dressing and slow-roasted cherry tomatoes on the vine. I don't need to tell you they were delicious.

Since our trip to Italy I have made pasta several times over, simplifying the entire process by purchasing a pasta rolling attachment for my Kitchen Aid stand mixer {which is without question one of the best kitchen investments I've ever made!} Multiple attempts at making pasta from scratch has led to me being somewhat comfortable in whipping-up a batch of noodles pretty quickly and after staring in shock at a $5.49 box of dried parpadelle from Italy in the grocery store last week, I'm quite happy to continue making my own.

This is a basic pasta dough recipe that can be transformed into any shape noodle you like, including ravioli. Trust me when I tell you it honestly couldn't be simpler! There's something to be said about how fulfilling it is to make your own pasta; both knowing exactly what it's made from and the satisfaction of creating something from scratch is enough to make me avoid store-bought pasta for good!

Homemade pasta dough
Recipe Type: Entree
Author: Sarah Orman
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 284g / 10oz all purpose flour
  • 2 whole large egg
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Semolina flour for coating
Instructions
  1. Weigh out flour and place in a heaped pile on a clean work surface.
  2. Make a large well in the center of the flour and add the eggs, egg yolks and salt.
  3. Using a fork, gently whisk the eggs and salt until incorporated.
  4. Once the eggs and salt have been beaten and there are no stringy egg whites or yolks, slowly begin to add the flour, pulling it in to the beaten egg mixture from the inside of the circle.
  5. Continue to add flour and mix the ingredients together with a fork until the dough begins to stiffen.
  6. Use your hands to bring the mixture together when it becomes too thick and stiff for a fork.
  7. [br] [img src="http://www.mymoderndiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Pasta-collage-5-1024x479.jpg" width="1024" height="479" class="aligncenter size-large"]
  8. Once the ingredients are all combined, wipe down your work surface and wash your hands thoroughly.
  9. With a clean, dry work surface and hands, begin to knead the dough. Remember, it's impossible to over knead!
  10. Knead for approximately 10-15 minutes or until the pasta dough is entirely smooth, supple and elastic.
  11. [br] [img src="http://www.mymoderndiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Pasta-collage6-1024x479.jpg" width="1024" height="479" class="aligncenter size-large"]
  12. Place inside a zip lock bag and leave to rest for at least one hour.
  13. When ready to roll, cut the dough in half, leaving the piece you're not working with in the air-tight bag.
  14. Before attempting to use the pasta rolling machine, roll the dough by hand into a rectangle approximately 1/8 of a inch thick.
  15. Starting with the pasta rolling machine on the widest setting {1} feed the rectangle of pasta dough carefully through the machine with one hand, using your second hand to catch the dough on the other side.
  16. To achieve a nice, wide, even rectangle shape, roll the pasta to setting number 3. Pause at this point to fold the dough in on itself to where the two ends meet in the middle. Fold in half again and gently roll by hand to flatten the dough into a wide rectangle.
  17. Adjust the settings of the machine back to 1 and begin again, feeding the pasta through with one hand and catching with the other.
  18. [br] [img src="http://www.mymoderndiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/pasta-collage9-1024x479.jpg" width="1024" height="479" class="aligncenter size-large"]
  19. Once the desired thickness has been reached, cut the pasta dough into noodles or shape into ravioli.
  20. Toss the finished pasta in semolina flour to prevent sticking and cook immediately. Any kind of noodles will take just 1-2 minutes to cook in salted boiling water {when salting the water in the pot, think ocean salty! Too little salt and the pasta lacks seasoning.}
Notes
Folding the pasta in on itself and in half {otherwise known as laminating} can be done several times over to achieve the desired noodle width. For ravioli and lasagna sheets, you want the end result to be as wide as the rolling attachment.[br][br]I roll pasta for ravioli for setting number 7 and pasta for any kind of noodle, such as parpadelle or tagliatelle, to setting number 6.

Homemade Ravioli

Homemade Ravioli

Strasbourg

Strasbourg