In this video I will be demonstrating how to make fresh pasta from scratch. Once this technique is mastered, there is literally no end to the infinite variations you create upon this simple theme.
A Note On Flours Used For Fresh Pasta
In the above video recipe, I use 00 Pasta Flour, which is a finely ground "soft" style of wheat flour predominately used in Northern Italy when making fresh pasta. In Southern Italy, hard durum wheat is preferred, but other forms of flour are used in various regions or by creative chefs including rye, buckwheat, barley, rice, chestnut and chickpea. However, these less traditional flours are usually used in conjunction with durum, semolina (which is derived from durum) and 00 flour to enhance the fresh pasta's flavor and texture.
If you cannot find 00 pasta flour, a national brand of AP flour can be used, yielding decent results.
Ingredients Used For Fresh Pasta
- 9 oz 00 Pasta Flour
- 6 oz Whole Eggs (both measurements are by weight)
In this video, the flour and eggs are weighed out on a digital scale to give the "pasta newbie" an accurate starting point. However, once you get comfortable with making pasta, the ingredients can generally be "eye balled." A good pasta dough should be stiff yet workable enough to roll through a pasta machine. Also, depending on the type and style of pasta being made, some or all of the egg can be replaced with water, olive oil can be added for flavor and extensibility, and other flavoring agents like fresh herbs, spinach, vegetables juices and squid ink can be worked into the dough for unique, creative flavors.
How To Make Fresh Pasta
- Mound measured flour onto a clean work surface and form a well in the center of the flour so that it resembles something similar to a miniature volcano.
- Pour eggs into the center of your flour well, break yolks with the tines of a fork, and scramble eggs while slowly drawing in more flour from the surrounding mound.
- Use a bench scraper to form into a rough, shaggy dough, cutting the flour into the eggs.
- Mound dough together and knead for about 2 minutes until a stiff, cohesive pasta dough is formed. If the dough is sticky or tacky, dust hands and work surface with additional flour and continue to knead until a proper, stiff consistency is achieved.
- Wrap pasta dough in plastic wrap and rest at room temperature for 20-30 minutes. This will allow for the flour to fully absorb the moisture of the eggs and the gluten strands to hydrate and relax, making the overall dough easier to work.
- After resting, unwrap pasta dough from plastic wrap and cut into halves or quarters, depending up how big you work surface is. Remember, a small piece of pasta dough can easily become a long, unmanageable sheet once rolled to its finished thickness.
- Dust a single piece of pasta dough on both sides with flour and pass through the rollers of a pasta machine set on it's widest setting, usually number one. Fold the pasta back on itself, and continue to roll through the widest setting, each time folding the dough in half, and continue for 12-14 passes or until the sheet of pasta dough becomes "spring and silky" (see video above for a better visualization).
- Continue to pass pasta dough through your rollers and after each pass, crank the dial on your pasta machine down by one click (thickness) and continue until the desired thickness of your pasta dough is reached. For more delicate pasta, roll dough as thin as possible. For pasta that needs to hold up during longer cooking, roll sheets a little thicker, and use a harder style of flour like durum.
- Cut pasta into sheets (the length of which you want your finished noodle to be), dust sheets generously with flour, stack, gently roll and cut noodles into desired thickness (please see video).
- Cook pasta immediately in boiling, salted water for about 1-2 minutes. Pasta water should almost taste as salty as the ocean.