Making fresh pasta at home is a labor of love, especially if you don’t have a pasta roller (me). But machines didn’t exist from the beginning and I do love the art of slowing down and taking the time to make something in the kitchen, particularly now when we’re stuck at home. If you’re up for the task, the reward is a lovely fresh pasta noodle that need not be dressed with anything but some cheese, pepper, salt, and olive oil/butter.
Brief History of Pasta
It is believed that pasta as we know it made its way westward from Asia, perhaps by nomadic Arab traders. According to Culinary Lore, “There are written reports of ‘a food made from flour in the form of strings,’ in Sicily, described by an Arab trader named Idrisi in 1154. At the Spaghetti Museum in Pontedassio, Imperia, there are several documents from 1240, 1279, and 1284 which refer to pasta, maccheroni, and vermicelli as known foods.
- 200g 00 flour or all purpose flour (1 1/2 cups + 1 Tbsp)
- 2 large eggs
- Make a well with the flour on your countertop (it’ll look like a volcano).
- Crack the eggs into the hole and using a fork, gently beat the eggs until they start incorporating into the flour.
- Continue mixing until the dough comes together into a rough ball. Knead until the dough is smooth, about 5 minutes. If really dry, add a little bit of water; if too sticky, add some more flour. The dough ball should be pretty stiff but slightly tacky.
- Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let rest for at least 30 minutes).
- At this point, feel free to use the dough with a pasta roller. If rolling by hand, divide the ball into 4 pieces. Cover the pieces when not in use.
- Roll the dough ball in one direction until very long and thin (about 1/16th inch, the thickness of a dime).
- Dust the rolled dough with flour and fold into thirds. Cut the dough into desired thickness using a sharp knife.
- Gently unfurl your noodles and toss with some flour to make a pile of noodles. Continue with the rest of the dough balls.
- If cooking immediately, bring some salted water to a boil and cook the noodles for 3-4 minutes until al dente. Use as desired.
- To dry pasta, hang the pasta noodles on a drying rack until fully dry then package up as use as desired.