Easy, Serves 2, Prep time: 20 mins + 30 mins (resting).
We tend to think of pasta as something we buy processed. Better pasta is instinctively better brand pasta, something we pay more for. But is making pasta dough worth the effort? Trust me when I say it is. Whether you’re looking to go the extra mile for a special someone or just looking to increase the breadth of your skills, homemade pasta makes for an extremely rewarding experience.
- All-purpose flour, 150 gm+dusting
- Eggs, medium, 2 no.*
- Olive oil, 1 tsp
- Salt, 1 tsp
*We used 1 whole egg and 1 additional egg yolk. The egg white will help provide elasticity to your dough while the yolk will add richness and colour to it.
- To prepare your pasta dough, sift the all-purpose flour into a heap on a clean work station and make a well in the centre of the heap. Add 1 whole egg along with 1 egg yolk into the well followed by adding the olive oil along with the salt into the egg mixture.
2. Using a fork, beat the eggs and incorporate the oil and salt into them. Gradually start adding in the flour with the fork from the sides of the well into the egg mixture until completely combined to form a dough. With the help of your fingers and palms, knead the pasta dough for 5-10 minutes or until smooth*.
*The slightest sprinkle of water or flour would help if your dough feels too dry or wet respectively after kneading . Too much flour will lead to dry and clumpy pasta whereas too much water will make the pasta sticky and difficult to roll. If your pasta dough feels slightly dry, do not add water and just let it rest as the resting process makes the pasta dough moist and pliable.
3. Wrap your pasta dough tightly using a plastic wrap/cloth to prevent air from drying out your dough and rest for 30 minutes in a cool dry place to allow the gluten to relax. After resting, your pasta dough should spring back slowly when you insert a finger as shown, below.
4. You may shape your fresh pasta dough with the help of a stand mixer, pasta machine or just your hands. To roll out your pasta by hand, like we did, divide the dough into two to make it easier to handle, place it onto a clean counter top and roll it out evenly using a rolling pin to about 1-2 mm thickness, adding extra flour to prevent sticking. A great test for the ideal thickness is that you should be able to see your hand through the dough when you lift it up.
5. Sprinkle some flour onto your rolled pasta sheet to prevent sticking . Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut your pasta up into different shapes and sizes. Once done, sprinkle your pasta with additional flour, dry it (if needed) and cook it in generously salted boiling water for 2-7 minutes, depending on the shape and size of your pasta. Strain. The only way to know if your pasta is ‘al dente’ or ‘cooked to the bite/tooth’ is by tasting it. It is integral to have a sauce ready simultaneously so you can directly add your strained pasta to it.
**Fresh pasta dough, wrapped tightly in a plastic wrap/cloth can last in the refrigerator until 3 days.