Pasta Making

With a bit of practice and a simple piece of equipment, homemade pasta is easier than you think. the basic recipe contains only two ingredients — flour and eggs — and a hand-cranked pasta machine.

To begin, place 1 cup of unbleached flour in a mound on your work surface. Create a well in the middle. Crack two large eggs into it. Using a fork, gently combine the eggs. Little by little, add in flour. Switch to a flat bench knife to more thoroughly incorporate the dough. Press your finger into the ball. If it comes out clean, you can begin to knead.

Press the heel of your hand into the dough and push away, stretching it. Fold it over and make a quarter turn. Repeat. Knead for about 5 -8 minutes. Divide the dough into six equal parts. Flatten and set on a kitchen towel. Set the machine to its widest setting and run the pieces through. Dust dough with a bit of flour if it sticks to the machine. Fold each piece in thirds by crossing the two narrow ends over each other. Feed each piece of dough through the rollers from the new narrow end. Repeat folding.

Set the machine one notch smaller, and roll each piece through. Reduce the width of the rollers by one notch each time, until the desired thickness is reached. Place the six strips of dough back on the kitchen towel and let sit about 10 minutes. Flip over occasionally. This allows the dough to dry a bit so that it will not stick to itself when cut. Pasta may be cut into shapes by the machine or by hand.

Once you’ve created the desired form, spread the strips on towels to dry a bit more. Pasta may be cooked right away in plenty of boiling salted water, or stored in a paper bag in your cupboard. Check frequently for just the right moment to drain your beautiful al dente creation.