I’m not sure why I’ve never made homemade pasta before…I think I was just intimated. Nor did I own a pasta machine. It just seemed like it would be hard to get right. Oh, and it’s awfully easy to buy fresh pasta at the grocery store, too!
But for some reason, this past weekend, I was inspired to buy a manual pasta machine and give it a whirl. We had a friend coming over for dinner who is training for a marathon, so it’s all about pasta and carbs for him right now. I figured he needed a good hearty pasta, and I’d try to make some fresh fettucine. Newly equipped with my Imperia pasta machine from Williams Sonoma, I set about finding a recipe that sounded about right.
I had purchased some “egg pasta flour” also from Williams Sonoma that was made with egg and semolina, so I didn’t need to add fresh eggs. I ended up using 1 1/2 cups of that flour, plus 1 1/2 cups regular all purpose flour, combined with about 3/4 cups of water, added gradually. I worked the ingredients together by hand, and kneaded the dough until it was dry but smooth and not crumbly. I added a little more water to get it to the right consistency as I went (firm and not sticky).
I then formed a small loaf, and cut that into fourths. I took each piece and flatted it to about 1/4″ with a rolling pin, then passed it through the sheet pullers of the machine 3 or 4 times on the most open setting (7), folding it in half each time. Then I put it through (without folding) on setting 5, so slightly narrower. Then again on setting 2, which gave me the thinness I wanted.
Finally, I put it through the fettucine cutter part of the machine, and voila! We had pasta. I laid it on a baking sheet dusted with semolina flour to keep it from drying out, and eventually cooked it in gently boiling water for about 4 minutes until it was to my preferred doneness, and served it with a slow-cooked pork ragu.
It was really a cinch! I’m no longer intimidated and am thinking next time, ravioli stuffed with wild mushrooms, mascarpone and thyme. Yum!
Don’t be afraid to try it yourself…buon appetito!