This month, Carolyne decided it would be the perfect time to teach students how to make pasta. That’s right, fresh pasta you can make at home! It’s much easier than you think, and as always, when it’s homemade, pasta takes so much better than the boxed variety. You may be wondering if it is worth your time and effort. If you are a pasta lover, or if you enjoy cooking projects that are fun for kids as well, pasta is perfect for you. You would be surprised just how easy it can be.
There are three ways to make pasta. The fastest method uses an electric mixer with a pasta attachment. The second method utilizes a hand crank pasta machine. The third involves your powerful biceps and a rolling pin. There are even some folks who swear by the food processor method, although Carolyne insists it’s best to be hands-on with the dough. You want to be able to feel the texture changes as it comes together, and that is how you will know when it is ready.
Serve your homemade pasta with your favorite tomato sauce, or try it with cooked, crumbled Italian sausage and sauteed broccoli rabe, garlic and red pepper flakes like we did after the class.
Basic Egg Pasta – Serves 1 person (To yield approximately 1 pound, multiply by 4.)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour, or mix of all-purpose and semolina flour, plus extra for dusting
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
Mix flour and salt. Create a well. Break egg into well, and add olive oil. Stir using a fork to mix egg & olive oil, gradually incorporating the flour. When dough comes together, form a ball and begin kneading by hand, adding more flour as necessary.
Dough should be pliable & elastic, not sticky. Dust with flour, wrap in plastic, and allow to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes to one hour. Dough may be made a day ahead of time and refrigerated.
To roll with a machine: If you’ve multiplied this recipe, divide dough into sections by number of eggs. Keep remaining dough wrapped in plastic when working with each section. Press dough into a rectangle and somewhat flatten. Start with pasta machine at widest setting and move dough through the rollers. Fold into thirds between each pass through the rollers. It usually takes about 3 times with the first setting until dough achieves a smooth texture. Then proceed to the next setting. Do not fold dough into thirds again after the first/ widest setting. Dust with flour as necessary. Continue until you reach the desired thinness of the dough. It should be somewhat translucent. Cut dough as desired.
To roll with a rolling pin: Shape the dough in the same way as above. Lightly dust a flat surface and roll the dough out to 1/8″ inch thick. Cut with a ravioli cutter, knife, etc. as desired.
Cooking: Bring large pot of salted water to a full & rapid boil. Boil pasta approx. 4 – 5 minutes. Strain & serve.