Tips for Making Fresh Pasta

I recently made fresh pasta for the first time and it was a rather interesting experience. It was fun being able to make everything from scratch from start to finish. I felt rather accomplished and the end result tasted delicious! Before embarking on this fresh pasta making adventure, I did quite a bit of research so I was able to learn quite a bit about pasta making beforehand. So, I did not go in completely blind. However, once I was really in the process and had my hands doing the work, I realized there was a lot I did not know. If you decide to make fresh pasta, then you too might find that to be true for yourself. 

To get started on your pasta-making venture, you will need a few simple ingredients. If you cook often, you probably already have all of the ingredients on hand. The ingredients that you will need are: flour, eggs, olive oil, salt and water. To make four servings of fresh pasta, try using: 3 cups of all-purpose flour or semolina flour, 3 large eggs, ¼ cup of olive oil, a pinch of salt, and 2 tablespoons of water. When it comes to time, the whole pasta making process is not very time consuming. From beginning to end, it can take anywhere from 20-30 minutes.

However, I discovered that making fresh pasta is a labor of love. For one, you must start with a clean work surface, as with any cooking or baking task. To that, add the pile of flour and create a well in the center. Now, pay close attention to this next part. Place the eggs into the center of the well and pull the flour inward to carefully mix it in with the eggs. Try your very best to not get the eggs running outside of the flour. A tip here would be to pre crack your eggs in a bowl before adding them to the flour well. This way, if you decrease the risk of getting egg shells into your pasta mixture. I even prefer this method, since I am no expert egg cracker! Even if you are, it is nice to take the extra step as a precaution. I do it when I bake cakes or other baked goods as well! 

It is important to knead the dough for at least ten minutes. Fifteen minutes is even better! What I mean by that is that it takes a bit of grunt work. Kneading truly is the hardest part when it comes to making fresh pasta. I found that kneading the dough for 10-15 minutes worked best. However, afterwards, my hands and arms were exhausted. Fortunately, I did not do the entire process by hand. I used a pasta maker that I attached to my stand mixer to make the pasta from the dough. The pasta maker helped the dough get nice and flat. If you do not have a pasta maker, you can roll the pasta out really flat with a rolling pin and slice it into whatever shapes you desire. Decide what kind of pasta you will be making. Is it Bow Tie? How about Spaghetti? Linguine sounds good too! Or, make a few different types! I did a mixture of everything. It was just that fun! 

After making the pasta into your desired type, you will want to boil it for a few minutes. I boiled it for 5 minutes at the most. Boiling it for too long will cause it to fall apart and become mushy. The pasta should still be al dente and have a nice bite to it after being boiled. Then, pair the pasta with a quality sauce. Since you are making pasta from scratch, why not make a sauce from scratch too? Once you taste it, I doubt you’ll regret it! 

So, make sure you: Crack your eggs into a separate bowl, Try your best to keep the eggs in the well, Knead the dough for at least ten minutes, Boil the pasta for no more than five minutes and Pair it with a quality sauce. I hope you can implement some of these tips as you dive into the pasta-making world! Enjoy!