One of my birthday presents this year was a pasta machine from my sister which I wanted to try straight away so yesterday I made pasta from scratch for the very first time.
The recipe I used is from my How to Cook Everything app, and my first surprise was how little ingredients you need, basically just flour and eggs:
250g all‐purpose flour, plus more if needed
1 teaspoon salt
2 whole eggs
3 egg yolks
By hand: Combine the flour and the salt on a counter or large bowl (I used a bowl). Make a well in the middle. Put the eggs and yolks into this well. Beat the eggs with a fork, slowly and gradually incorporating the flour, a little at a time. When it becomes too hard to stir with the fork, use your hands. When all the flour on the surface has been mixed in, knead the dough, pushing it against the board and folding it repeatedly, until it is not at all sticky and has become quite stiff. Add only small amounts of flour during kneading if you absolutely need it.
Sprinkle the dough with a little of the reserved flour and cover with plastic or a cloth; let it rest for about 30 minutes. (At this point, you may refrigerate the dough, wrapped in plastic, until you’re ready to roll it out, for up to 24 hours.)
Next, the fun bit- using the machine. This was a lot harder than I initially expected and as the clamp for my machine didn’t quite fit with my work top I had to get my friend to hold onto it to keep it steady.
Clean your hands and clamp a pasta machine to the counter; sprinkle your work surface lightly with flour. Cut off about one‐third of the dough; wrap the rest in plastic or cloth while you work. Roll the dough lightly in the flour and use your hands to flatten it into a rectangle about the width of the machine. Set the machine to its highest (that is, thickest) setting and crank the dough through. If it sticks, dust it with a little more flour. Repeat. Set the machine to its next‐thinnest setting and repeat. Each time, if the pasta sticks, sprinkle it with a little more flour, and each time put the dough through the machine twice.
Use as much flour as you need to, but in small amounts each time.
Keep going until it is a thickness you are happy with.
At this point the dough is ready to be used. You can leave it as sheets to make lasagne or stuffed pasta or cut the sheets to make other types of pasta. I put mine through the machine to make tagliatelle.
To cook the pasta, drop them into boiling salted water; they’ll be done when tender, in less than 3 minutes (and probably less than 2 minutes).
My learning point here was not to drop too much in at once (or maybe have a bigger pan of water), as I had to stir furiously to stop it all sticking together. My second learning point, or warning, is that you will get flour everywhere while you make your own pasta.
Served with a creamy mushroom and bacon sauce: