Pasta Making 101
2 cups flour
½ cup water
Eating fresh, homemade pasta is one of my family’s favorite indulgences, thick, silky noodles with that little bit of bite to them- perfect for sopping up tomato sauce lovingly canned from the Jersey Giant tomatoes grown in our own garden.
As far as being economical, pasta is one of the cheapest foods around to keep an army of little boys full, and I have been known to stock up for a rainy day when the price is right. Turns out making your own pasta is just as economical but a little more fun.
When I first started making pasta I used my Great Uncle Enzo’s old crank pasta maker. It had that nostalgic value and the pasta that came out of it was amazing. An absolute treasure and something that I won’t ever get rid of.
In Christmas of 2017 my husband surprised me with the Kitchen Aid pasta maker attachment, and regretfully, I haven’t gone back to the old style since. I cannot say enough about this attachment. I can even make large quantities of pasta to dry and keep or sell at market in a small fraction of the time.
So let’s get started…
The traditional way of making pasta is to place your flour on your countertop and make a well for your eggs. I break tradition and use the Kitchen Aid with the dough hook attachment. I use two cups of flour per half cup water and one egg.
*Let’s talk for a second about flour. I use All Purpose, because it is what I have on hand and it is the only kind sold at Aldi. I am 100% certain if you used Durum Semolina you would have an even BETTER tasting pasta- but that stuff isn’t cheap (and I am).*
There are a ton of pasta recipes out there if you look around, this is the one that has consistently worked for me with minimal tweaking. I add the flour, water and eggs to the Kitchen Aid and mix with the dough hook until the pasta has formed into a smooth ball. You don’t want there to be any stickiness about the dough and if there is add a bit more flour, a couple tablespoons at a time until you get the right consistency. Once you have a smooth ball, wrap it in clear plastic wrap and let it rest.
Attach your pasta roller Kitchen Aid Attachment – or prepare your old hand crank model- and then cut the ball of dough just like you would cut a pie into eight equal sections. Flatten each section and crank it through on the widest setting of your roller. Keep some extra flour handy for this step and after it comes through dust some flour on both sides of the now- flat dough. Progressively put the pasta through your machine until you have reached desired thickness- only my Kitchen Aid I use a 4 and then switch attachments to the pasta cutter. Now, run the long flat piece of pasta through the cutter and either throw it immediately into a pot of boiling water or cut it to your desired length and hang it lovingly from a pasta drier ( or in my case a bunch of clothes hangers) to dry out. The fresh pasta should cook in under 5 minutes and if you hang to dry it should be dry in 24-48 hours and ready to store in an airtight container for up to three months.
No pasta machine at all? No worries! Branch out to other shapes that don’t require a roller, cavatelli for instance only requires a little elbow grease and a fork!