Fresh pasta is easier to make than most people think. This is an easy recipe and can be used for many different types of pasta. You can freeze the dough ball itself or freeze the bundles of cut pasta in a ziplock bag.
One very important fact about cooking fresh pasta once you have frozen it. Do not bring it to room temperature before cooking! It will easily become mushy and you will wind up throwing it out. Bring the water to a boil, add a good amount of salt, and then take your pasta directly from the freezer and drop it into the boiling water. Remember, it only takes a minute or two to cook!
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- Food processor or standing mixer with a dough hook for bread
- 2 cups All-purpose flour If you can find 00 Italian flour, the pasta will be smoother and easier to digest.
- 1 large egg
- 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup ice water More than likely, you will need more. Very small amounts at a time.
Making the Dough for Fresh Pasta
- Put the flour in the bowl of the food processor and process for a few seconds. This will aerate the flour. If using a standing mixer, attach the dough hook and run it about a minute.
- Mix the egg with a fork in a small bowl (like you are scrambling it) and add the olive oil, and only 1/4 cup ice water until combined.
- With the flour in the machine, turn on and while running, pour the liquids quickly into the feed tube (if using a food processor) or in the bowl if using a standing mixer. After about 20 seconds, most of the dough should clump up on the blade. The standing mixer might take a little longer to incorporate.
- Process for another 15 seconds or so, not more than 40 seconds total if using a food processor. Again, this might take a little longer using a standing mixer with the dough hook.You will be able to tell if the dough does not gather on the blade (food processor) or dough hook (mixer) it is probably too dry. Add a very small amount of ice water and continue to mix quickly. It should come together. If for any reason you add too much ice water, add a little bit more flour to remove the excess flour.
- Once it comes together, take out of the machine and knead a little bit by hand on a floured service. It should be nice and smooth and not break apart when pulled with both hands. It should be soft and stretchy. If not, more kneading is needed.
- Press it into a flat disk, wrap well in plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for at least a half hour.
Rolling out the Fresh Pasta Dough
- Get your pasta machine ready. Cut the pound of dough into 4 equal pieces. Work with one at a time and keep the other pieces covered.
- Run the first piece of dough through the rollers at the widest setting. Once you run it once through the machine, fold in thirds and repeat. Do this again one more time, folding again in thirds and putting it through the machine at the same setting. This will develop smoothness.
- Re-set the machine to a narrower setting and run the first piece through extending it into a rectangular strip. Let the rollers move the dough and catch it in your hand as it comes out. If at any time the dough is sticky, lightly flour the piece before sending it through the machine.
- IMPORTANT: Decide on what type of pasta you are making. If you are making fettuccini, you would not roll it as thin as if you were making spaghetti. Meaning, you would not progressively go as far down in the number on the dial.
- Roll and stretch all the pieces at progressively narrower settings, until they spread as wide as the rollers (usually about 5-inches) and stretch to about 20-inches or longer.
- Lay each wide piece on a lightly floured clean kitchen tea towel. Repeat these steps for all the dough until the entire pound is rolled out in sheets.
Using the Cutters
- NOTE: At this point, you could use the pasta sheets and make ravioli. You can check online for instructions on how to proceed with this idea. You could also just cut the pasta sheets by hand if you wanted to make wide pasta such as pappardelle.
- Attach the cutting blades to the machine. Take each wide sheet of pasta and run it through the desired cutting blade.
- Spread out each cut sheet on the same tea-towels you used previously. Sprinkle them with flour so they don't stick together. Leave them uncovered, to air-dry at room temperature, until ready to cook.
Cooking Fresh Pasta
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and then add lots of salt.
- Shake off any flour excess and add fresh pasta to boiling water and stir immediately with a wooden spoon so the pasta doesn't stick together.
- Fresh pasta should only take a few minutes. Test constantly as you do not want to overcook it. Depending on the shape of the pasta and thickness, it should only take about 2-3 minutes.
You might also enjoy our day making fresh pasta with the grandchildren Pasta Day with Grandchildren