Making Fresh Pasta

fresh pasta noodles
As is often the case, I end up making something from scratch because I either can’t find exactly what I’m looking for at the store, or I can’t be bothered to go to the store in the first place. This time, it was a bit of both; I was craving some really good pasta, but I didn’t think I’d be able to find what I wanted (fresh lasagna noodles) at the closest store, and I wasn’t prepared to go searching far and wide.

Luckily, pasta is surprisingly easy to make…and doesn’t take long either; the time between when I decided that I wanted pasta for supper to the time we sat down to eat was only about two hours, and that included the pasta dough’s one-hour resting time.

The basic recipe is simple: a ratio of one egg to 100 grams of flour.  This is the amount (for an entree) for each person, so this makes the formula easy to remember, 1:100:1, one egg to 100 grams of flour to one person.

I found this really easy to roll out with just a regular wooden rolling pin, so I would say you don’t need a pasta machine.  I think the key is to make sure the dough isn’t too dry, which makes it hard, and therefore more difficult to roll out. I rolled this out on my trusty “Pastry Frame” pastry cloth, and then cut the noodle shapes out with scissors.

The sheet of pasta can be cut into a variety of noodle types, such as lasagna, tagliatelle, ravioli or tortellini.  I made cannelloni using lasagna shaped noodles to wrap around the cheese filling.  I usually use my simple tomato sauce recipe for most pastas that I make, increasing the tomato sauce a bit for this recipe.  For the cannelloni filling, I mixed 4 ounces of soft goat cheese with a few tablespoons of grated Pecorino and Monterey Jack, some salt and pepper and a handful of spinach. I divided this among the noodles once they were boiled, rolled them up and topped with the tomato sauce and some more Pecorino, and then baked in a 375°F oven for about 25 minutes.

Without further ado, here is the rest of the recipe…

To Make Pasta for Two People

Ingredients:

200 grams flour
2 eggs
good pinch of salt

Instructions:

Measure the flour and salt out onto a wooden board and make a well in the centre for the eggs.  crack eggs into flour

Crack the eggs into the well, and give them a good stir with a fork to lightly beat them before mixing them into the flour.

Start mixing the flour into the eggs, a bit at a time, starting with the flour in the middle.  Slowly incorporate the flour without breaking through the outer wall of your flour mound, so the eggs don’t escape.mix eggs into flour

Once you have mixed in most of the flour, you can start kneading the dough with your hands; you may not need all of the flour, depending on the humidity in the air and the moisture content of the flour, size of the eggs, etc.  The dough should be soft and pliable, but not too sticky.  When you have been kneading for a couple of minutes, the dough should start to feel smooth, and you shouldn’t need to add any more flour to keep it from sticking to your hands.  Keep kneading for a few more minutes until the dough feels uniformly smooth and is starting to feel a bit stretchy.

Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover bowl with a damp cloth and let rest for about an hour.

ball of pasta dough

During this time, you can prepare your sauce and fillings, etc. for your pasta.

When the pasta resting time is over, place a large pot of water on the stove to boil, ready to cook your pasta.

Remove the dough ball from the bowl and place it on a lightly floured smooth surface for rolling out.  As you are rolling, keep checking to make sure it’s not sticking to the counter below, and keep turning and flipping the dough over to make sure it’s being rolled uniformly.  Roll until it becomes thin and transparent, about 1/16th of an inch thick.  Now you can cut it with scissors or a sharp knife into any shape you like.

fresh pasta rolled out

Add salt to your boiling water and throw in the pasta noodles.  Cook for five to eight minutes, checking occasionally to make sure it doesn’t get overcooked (it takes a bit longer for a stuffed pasta like ravioli).  pasta cooking

Then drain and proceed with your chosen recipe, whether it’s just tossing it with some sauce, or baking in a lasagna or cannelloni.

Fresh Cannelloni

Printable version:

Fresh Pasta

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Resting time 1 hour
Servings 2 people

Ingredients

  • 200 grams flour
  • 2 eggs
  • good pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Measure the flour and salt out onto a wooden board and make a well in the centre for the eggs. crack eggs into flour
  2. Crack the eggs into the well, and give them a good stir with a fork to lightly beat them before mixing them into the flour.
  3. Start mixing the flour into the eggs, a bit at a time, starting with the flour in the middle. Slowly incorporate the flour without breaking through the outer wall of your flour mound, so the eggs don't escape.

  4. Once you have mixed in most of the flour, you can start kneading the dough with your hands; you may not need all of the flour, depending on the humidity in the air and the moisture content of the flour, size of the eggs, etc. The dough should be soft and pliable, but not too sticky. When you have been kneading for a couple of minutes, the dough should start to feel smooth, and you shouldn't need to add any more flour to keep it from sticking to your hands. Keep kneading for a few more minutes until the dough feels uniformly smooth and is starting to feel a bit stretchy.
  5. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover bowl with a damp cloth and let rest for about an hour.
  6. During this time, you can prepare your sauce and fillings, etc. for your pasta.
  7. When the pasta resting time is over, place a large pot of water on the stove to boil, ready to cook your pasta.
  8. Remove the dough ball from the bowl and place it on a lightly floured smooth surface for rolling out. As you are rolling, keep checking to make sure it's not sticking to the counter below, and keep turning and flipping the dough over to make sure it's being rolled uniformly. Roll until it becomes thin and transparent, about 1/16th of an inch thick. Now you can cut it with scissors or a sharp knife into any shape you like.
  9. Add salt to your boiling water and throw in the pasta noodles. Cook for five to eight minutes, checking occasionally to make sure it doesn't get overcooked (it takes a bit longer for a stuffed pasta like ravioli). pasta cooking

  10. Then drain and proceed with your chosen recipe, whether it's just tossing it with some sauce, or baking in a lasagna or cannelloni.

 

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