Ever since I was a little boy in my grandmother's kitchen, I've loved to cook. Sushi was one of many things she taught me how to make.
Everyone loves pasta. It's a tasty and convenient staple food that comes in all sizes and shapes, including tagliatelle, ravioli, spaghetti, linguine, tortellini, fettuccine, penne . . . the list goes on and on.
I'll admit, most of the time I'm lazy and I'll buy a dried, store-bought pasta at the cheapest price, but every once in a while I like to make my pasta fresh. It's a great way to impress family or guests, after all. There's just something very chic about homemade pasta.
Below is a simple fresh pasta recipe that literally takes only a few minutes to prepare and only a couple of minutes to cook. You can eat it plain, with some vegetables, or with any sauce of your choice, whether it be tomato, cream, cheese, or mushroom.
- 2 large eggs
- 200 grams plain flour
- Pinch of salt (optional)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil (optional)
Yield: 2 servings
Step 1: Make the Dough
- Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl and add an optional pinch of salt.
- Create a hollow in the centre of the flour, crack in 2 eggs, and add in the optional olive oil.
- Fold in the flour using a wooden spoon or fork to create what looks like large sticky breadcrumbs. Feel the dough with your fingers. If it feels too dry, add a couple of teaspoons of olive oil.
- With your fingers, mix the dough into one dough ball and knead the pasta dough on a floured surface. Don't be gentle here.
- It is essential to knead the dough for a few minutes to create a good amount of gluten in the dough so your pasta will have good elasticity. Pull it, stretch it, squash it! Then let the pasta dough rest for a few minutes.
Note: To make it even more convenient, a food processor can be used instead of a mixing bowl.
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Step 2: Roll the Dough and Shape the Pasta
For this step, you can either use a pasta machine or a combination of rolling pin plus knife/pizzacutter (just like an Italian grandmother).
With a pasta machine:
- Feed the dough in the top of the machine while turning the lever.
- When the strips of pasta (tagliatelle) come out of the machine, make sure to lightly dust the strips with some flour.
- Let the strips rest for 10 minutes.
With a rolling pin:
- Dust your worktop with some flour and roll out the pasta dough until very VERY fine. It will be quite hard to roll the dough as it is very elastic and tends to retract, so lots of elbow grease is essential. Roll the pasta dough until it is so thin that it is almost translucent.
- It is now time to cut the pasta into tagliatelle or whatever shapes you like. The dough can be used to make even ravioli or tortellini.
- For tagliatelli, run a sharp knife or pizza cutter up the thinly rolled pasta to create strips, about 1cm in diameter. The strips can be as long as you like.
- When you have cut the pasta, rest the strips on your arm and dust with a generous amount of flour to ensure the pieces won’t stick together.
- Lay the tagliatelli on a floured surface and leave for 10 minutes to dry slightly.
- The pasta can then be cooked straight away or stored in a refrigerator, in an airtight container, for up to 3 days.
Note: To speed up cutting you can carefully roll your flattened pasta sheet into a log shape and cut thin strips along the way. Think of cutting sushi, but really finely.
Step 3: Cook the Pasta
- Bring water to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan, along with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt.
- Add in the fresh pasta and simply cook for up to 5 minutes, or until al dente.
- When your pasta is cooked, drain from the water straight away so it doesn’t get too soggy. You can now add the pasta to your favourite sauce or eat as you normally would.