Everyone thinks fresh pasta is really hard to make and I thought the same as well until I tried to make it myself a few years ago. Fresh pasta has an unbelievable texture. It is soft, silky and smooth. Some dried pasta is good especially the Barilla brand but you can't beat fresh pasta. I made Pappardelle last week. I used half fresh that night and I dried the remaining. I kept it in the fridge after drying and I used it 5 days later.
I must admit I did not make pasta in over a year and after making some last week I will definitely make some more regularly. The dough will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days also.
Fresh Egg Pasta
by Trevor Thornton
Makes 4-5 portions
300g Italian “00” pasta flour
½ tsp salt
1 egg yolk
additional flour for dusting
Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre of the flour and add the eggs and the egg yolk. With a fork beat the eggs and gradually draw in the flour. After a period of time the dough will stiffen and you will need to use your hands. As soon as the dough begins to form a ball, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface.
Knead the dough by pushing the ball away from you with the heel of your hand. If the dough is very sticky dust the dough with some flour. Knead until smooth, elastic and no longer sticky. This should take 10 minutes. Wrap the ball in cling film and leave to rest for a minimum of 30 minutes.
Set the pasta machine rollers to their widest setting. Cut the dough into 4 equal sized pieces. Lightly dust 1 piece of dough with flour and flatten with your hand. Feed the floured dough into the rollers. Take the strip and fold it in half. Pass the strip through the rollers again and repeat once or twice more. This process ensures the dough is evenly kneaded. The dough strip should be smooth and silky. Reset the rollers to the next setting and feed the dough through the settings until you achieve the desired thickness. If the dough starts to stick to anything lightly dust both sides with flour. Repeat with the remaining dough.
For Pappardelle cut the dough strip in half and slice into 2cm wide strips
For Tagliatelle cut into 1cm strips
For Lasagne cut into 15cm long strips
You can cook the pasta immediately or alternatively you can dry the pasta so it can be prepared in advance. As you cut the pasta into whatever shape you decide, dust with semolina or plain flour. Place on a clean tea towel and repeat with the remaining dough. I have also placed Pappardelle strips between the backs of two chairs to dry out for 2-3 hours.