A little history about me. When I was younger I was taught to sew, to fold paper origami, to make “Chinese tamales”, to shape dumplings and the list goes on, but what I have come to notice is that I love hands on learning. I love doing things with my hands. It is the fastest way for me to understand a concept and I almost never forget it once I get it down. Also, I just wanted to get it in here and say that I am so grateful for my set of hands. There are many people who don’t have what we may have, and though it may seem like a little thing to us, it really isn’t, and we should treasure them so very much.
This past birthday I was gifted a sur la table gift card from two very special people and I knew that I had to get my hands on a pasta machine. I’ve made pasta by hand as well, and rolled it thin with a rolling pin, but nothing gets it as smooth and thin as the machine. If you don’t have one, that’s okay too, you’ll just need a rolling pin.
When I first started making my own pasta, I wanted to try gnocchi and fettuccine. I worked with the dough many, many times before I came to know what the “right” texture was, so this might take a couple tries or you might get it the first time around. The dough shouldn’t feel too wet or too dry. The more you knead it, the tougher it may seem to get, but keep going at it until it is as smooth as a baby’s butt. Also, another big thing is resting the dough. If you do not rest the dough, it will be impossible to roll out the pasta. The gluten that has formed needs to relax so that it makes that process a lot easier. Make sure you wrap the dough that you are not using as well, so that it does not dry up. When you are drying out the pasta, give it enough air to circulate or else your pasta will oxidize and become a grayish color that is very unappetizing.
These are the main tips that I have to making homemade pasta. It is one of life’s most simplest pleasures and I do hope you get your hands dirty and try it out for yourself. The flavor is phenomenal and like no other, you won’t go back to boxed pastas (unless you’re short on time haha).
- 1 3/4 cups + 2 tbsps. AP flour
- 1/3 cup semolina (super fine, I use bob’s red mill)
- 3 large eggs + 3 large egg yolks (room temp)
- Pour out flour & semolina on the table & give it a a couple tosses with your hands to mix it.
- Create a well in the middle & pour/crack in your eggs & egg yolks.
- With a fork, whisk the egg yolks & gradually pull in flour from the sides.
- Continue doing so until the dough begins to stick to the fork & it becomes hard to whisk.
- Using a bench scraper, cut the rest of the flour into the dough.
- Once there is not much flour left to bring in, dust your hands with a bit of flour & begin to knead the dough.
- Keep kneading the dough until it becomes soft and smooth.
- Wrap the pasta in plastic wrap and let it sit for at least 30 mins.
- Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces, making sure to wrap the ones you are not working with.
- Dust your dough & pasta machine with flour, and starting at the widest setting, roll out the pasta until the second thinnest setting, dusting the past with a little flour each time.
*If you do not have a pasta machine, roll it out with a rolling pin till you can see through the pasta sheet.
- Now, cut the strip of pasta into 4 equal pieces ~12 inches each & dust again with flour.
- Roll each piece up loosely and cut out 3/4 inches thick strips.
- Unravel the pappardelle and transfer them to a baking sheet to dry, tossing them around once in a while to keep them from sticking.
- Bring a quart of water in a sauce pan with 2 tsp. of salt to a boil.
- Toss pappardelle in & cook for 2-3 mins, strain & serve with your favorite sauce.