Making your own pasta has to be one of the most satisfying things in cookery. It’s surprisingly easy and the result is much better than the fresh pasta you can buy in the supermarket. This recipe will probably horrify pasta purists – it contains a few drops (about 1/2 tsp) olive oil. My experience has shown that this provides some great elasticisty and stops the pasta from cracking whilst being rolled. In this respect, it is important to let the pasta dough rest by chilling for around 30 minutes after kneading.
Pasta can be rolled by hand, however I would recommend getting a good quality pasta maker, such as an Imperia 150 or better. This is one of the few kitchen gadgets that I use on a regular basis. I managed to get through 2 cheap pasta makers before I realised that it was worth spending the cash on a good quality machine (after all, grease and metal shards in your lasagne are really not very appealing) .
For the best results try and get hold of Pasta flour (Type OO), which is very finely ground. It’s not the end of the world if you can’t, you can still use plain white flour. This recipe makes white pasta suitable for lasagne, tagliatelle, fettuccine, cannelloni, ravioli, in fact, just about any type of pasta you can think of. You can adapt this recipe to create coloured pasta by adding 2-3 tablespoons of pureed cooked fresh spinach or beetroot at the very start. In this case you will also need to either reduce the volume of liquid (leave out one of the eggs) or increase the amount of flour
Preparation time (including resting) – 45-60 minutes
Cooking Time – 3 minutes
- 300g Type OO White Pasta Flour
- 3 medium Eggs
- 1/2 tsp Olive Oil
- Throw all ingredients into a food processor and blitz well. This should form breadcrumbs before forming into a ball. If it sticks to the bowl without forming a ball, add more flour. Carefully add a very little water if the breadcrumbs don’t come together. Remove from the food processor
- Knead the dough for a few minutes, sprinkling with a little extra flour if it seems sticky. Wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge for 30 minutes. Set up the pasta maker in a clear area and flour the surfaces
- Remove half of the dough from the fridge and roughly flatten. Pass through the pasta maker on the widest setting. If the pasta tears or sticks, it’s probably too wet. Work in a little more flour and try again
- Once you’ve successfully passed the pasta through once, fold in half and repeat on the same setting. Repeat this several times to work the gluten in the dough
- Reduce the setting on the pasta maker and repeat the rolling and folding
- Now reduce the roller width once more and roll again. Continue to reset the roller width and roll until the desired thickness is reached (NB:- I find the thinnest setting is too thin for anything other than ravioli). If the pasta sheets get too long to handle, cut in half
- The pasta can now be cut as necessary and/or cooked immediately in boiling salted water (it should only take 2-3 minutes), or can be frozen