For Christmas, my boyfriend got me a pasta maker. I love to cook, you could say it’s an obsession. I constantly am finding new recipes to try out. I also really like to make everything from scratch (my pasta sauce, pie dough, pancakes, cheese cakes, etc.), so you can say I was excited to get a pasta maker. I watched videos of Emeril and Alton cranking out their pasta and making the dough from scratch, and finally I decided to dive in (recipe and more straightforward instructions are listed at the end of this post).
I found a basic pasta recipe online and made the dough. I had read that it was easy to make the dough, and you just sort of create a mountain of flour and pour the eggs right in the center. I was so excited to make the dough, just like the pros. I stacked my flour into a mound on the table, made a little indent for the eggs, and poured the eggs in. Unfortunately, I didn’t make the indent in the flour large enough so it spilled all over the table. I scrapped that batch and started again (this time in a bowl).
Now it was time to roll it out. This was the best part. Pasta making really isn’t as hard as it appears to be. The machine looks a little daunting, but it really isn’t. The actual process isn’t so much as hard as it is tedious. I will admit my arm got a little sore by the end. So, first I cut the dough into sections. Alton said it was important to kind of knead the dough out, so I ran it through the pasta maker at the largest setting of the smooth rollers. After I ran it through, I folded it up into threes (like a wallet), and put it back through the largest setting 2 more times. After, I decreased the size of the smooth rollers one notch at a time. I would dust the dough with flour in between if it ever got too sticky. I rolled the pasta that I made out until I reached notch number 4.
After I got the pasta to the desired thickness, I cut the jagged edges off the ends of the pasta and cut it into the length of noodles that I wanted. I then moved the handle over to the cutter attachment and ran the pasta through the larger of the 2 cutter rollers. I’m pretty excited to but more attachments in the future!
After this, I took the pasta and separated it. Some of the strands were not cut fully through so I had to pull them apart by hand a little bit. I made sure that the counter was generously dusted with flour and I dusted all of the pasta with flour, too. It’s important to make sure it’s all dusted with flour or all of the strands of pasta will just stick back together again. I put them on a baking sheet that had been covered in flour, and let them rest while I prepared the rest of the pasta dough. After doing this, I realized it is best to lay the pasta out in a more neat little pile. The next time I made the pasta, I straightened out the pasta and then laid it in a circular pile. I suggest doing this or laying it out flat. I found that since I had kind of bunched the pasta up, it kept that shape so the pasta cooked a little crinkly. The following photos are, first, how I laid the pasta out, and, second, how I laid it out the next time (and suggest you lay it out).
When I was all done, I put the pasta into salted boiling water. I read that fresh pasta usually takes about 1-3 minutes to cook. Since I didn’t want to end up with mushy, overcooked pasta, I checked on it every 1 minute. This pasta took about 3 minutes. I added cold water when it was done and strained it. I added the ice water so that it would stop the pasta from cooking.
I had made my homemade sauce that night and topped the pasta with that, but honestly, I could have eaten the pasta plain! There’s just something about eating food that you’ve worked so hard to make that really makes it taste a million times better. On top of the fact that I do think fresh pasta is a lot softer and lighter and more delicious than store-bought hard pasta. I definitely am a believer! I don’t want this pasta maker to sit in the closet 11 months out the year, and I’ve already made fresh pasta again. For such an inexpensive little gadget, it really works wonders.
- 2 cups of flour
- 2 eggs
- Water (optional, only needed if the dough is not wet enough)
- Pour the 2 cups of flour into a mixing bowl and create an indent in it.
- Crack and beat the eggs in a separate bowl. When beaten, pour the egg into the flour.
- Mix the eggs with your hands slowly into the flour, allowing the flour to gradually be incorporated with the eggs.
- If the mixture is dry, add water 1 tablespoon at a time. Mix the dough in between adding the tablespoons, you don’t want the dough to be too sticky.
- When finished, make sure the dough has enough flour on the outside (so that it won’t stick) and wrap it with cling wrap.
- Put the dough in the fridge for at least 1 hour. After 1 hour, take the dough out and allow it to reach room temperature (about 30 minutes).
- Cut the dough into 3 pieces and dust each piece with flour. Shape it into a thinner and more rectangular sizes (kind of like a fat chocolate bar).
- Start rolling the dough through the smooth rollers at the largest setting. Roll it through once, then fold the dough into threes (like a wallet) and run it back through. Repeat this at least 2 more times.
- Gradually reduce the roller size (one notch at a time) until the pasta dough is the desired thickness. For this pasta, I went down until number 4. Remember to dust the pasta with flour if it becomes sticky.
- Cut the ends of the pasta dough so that it is straight across, and then cut the dough into the desired pasta length that you want.
- Now it is time to run the dough through the cutting rollers. Choose the desired width and shape of pasta and run the dough through the appropriate cutting roller. For this, I used the larger sized cutting roller (for wider width pasta).
- Separate the pasta so that it is not stuck together. Lightly dust it with flour so that they do not stick together. Place the pasta in a neat pile on a flour dusted surface or cookie sheet. It is important to put flour on the pasta so that it does not stick together (and ruin all your hard work)!
- Put the pasta into boiling water that has been salted. Fresh pasta usually takes 1-3 minutes to cook. Check the pasta in intervals of 1 minute as to not overcook it.
- When pasta is finished, add a cup of ice water to the pot, and then strain your pasta.