Making homemade pasta should definitely be on your culinary bucket list (if it's not there already). Not because it's so difficult that it's something to aspire to, but because it's so satisfying you'll be glad you did it. Creating beautiful chewy noodles made from simple ingredients gives you a feeling of accomplishment that's hard to compete with. The fact that this simple technique hasn't changed much in hundreds of years gives you a feeling of connection with generations of cooks who went before you. It's also inspiring proof that some things are so great, they really don't need to be improved upon.
Things You'll Need
2 cups flour (see tip below)
1 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
You can use all-purpose flour, 00 flour, or 1 cup 00 flour and 1 cup Semolina flour. Play around with flour combos to see what you like best.
Step 1: Stir Together Salt and Flour
On a flat work surface, stir together the flour and salt in a mound.
Step 2: Make a Well
Make a deep well in the center of the mound, making sure the walls are fairly thick but the well is large enough to hold three eggs.
Step 3: Add the Eggs
One at a time, crack the eggs into the center of the well.
Step 4: Stir
Stir the eggs in the center, gradually adding the flour from the walls until all the flour has been moistened.
Step 5: Form Into a Ball
Pull together the flour and eggs, kneading it into a ball.
Step 6: Start Kneading
Knead the ball of dough firmly with both hands.
Step 7: Knead Some More
Continue kneading until the ball is smooth and elastic; this will take about 15 minutes. It's hard to over-knead dough by hand, if you think it needs to be kneaded more, it does. This process creates a nice, chewy pasta instead of what would taste like boiled pie crust.
Step 8: Form Into a Ball
Once the pasta dough is smooth and elastic, form into a ball
Step 9: Rest
Cover the dough and allow it to rest for at least one hour.
Step 10: Divide
Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Cover the pieces you aren't working with to prevent them from drying out.
Step 11: Roll
One at a time roll the dough pieces into very thin rectangles.
Step 12: Fold
Fold the dough into a flat roll about two inches wide.
Step 13: Cut
Cut the pasta into even ribbons, from 1/8-inch to 1/2-inch depending on preference. Stay consistent once you pick a size to insure that your pasta cooks evenly.
Step 14: Unfurl
Unfurl the pasta into long noodles.
Step 15: Cook Immediately or Dry
If you plan to cook immediately, move to step 16. If you want to dry for later use, either coil the pasta into loose nests and allow to dry, or hang the pasta over a drying rack, coat hanger, or other bar to dry until very brittle. Remember that no matter how you dry the pasta, this will be the shape it will need to stored in, very long pasta will need a very long storage container. You can place pasta nests into freezer bags and freeze for months.
Step 16: Cook It
Bring a pot of heavily salted water to boil (you want the water as salty as the sea). Add your fresh or dried pasta, boiling until al dente (this will take longer for dried pasta and only a few minutes for fresh).
Step 17: Serve
Serve immediately with desired sauce.