Homemade Egg Pasta
There is nothing like the silky taste and comforting chew of homemade egg pasta!
Easier than Ironing Sheets
Have you eaten fresh homemade pasta? If you have, you know it is a completely different food than boxed pasta. One is not better than the other, but they are miles apart in texture and taste.
Boxed dried pasta is meant to last. It is made from semolina flour and water, dried, and able to be stored almost indefinitely. This is the pasta that pairs well with hearty tomato sauces and ragus.
Fresh pasta should be eaten within a day or so of being made. Made from eggs and finely milled flour, it is soft, smooth, and delicate. It's delicious with cream-based sauces.
You may be thinking fresh homemade pasta is difficult to make. It's not! I think it's easier to do than ironing bed sheets.
How to Iron Sheets
Have you ever slept in a bed in which the cotton sheets had been ironed? My first time was in Italy. I think the hardworking housekeepers at the Albergo Santa Chiara must have put freshly ironed sheets on our beds daily.
After spending the day exploring Rome with my mom and eldest son, we would return to the hotel each evening in anticipation of bedtime. It’s hard to believe that while on vacation in the Eternal City one of the highlights of the day was sliding into bed between cool, crisp sheets.
The feeling is so dreamy and luxurious!
So, how does one iron cotton bed linens? Slightly damp sheets + light starch + high heat iron = five-star luxury hotel sheets. Well, something close to it.
Have I done this at home? Yes. Once. It’s a lot of work. I’d rather spend the time making pasta from scratch.
How to Make Fresh Pasta Without a Machine
You may be thinking you must have a stand mixer and pasta roller to make homemade pasta. Nope. Italian grandmas make it by hand, and so can you.
Only two ingredients are necessary and you probably have them in your kitchen right now: flour and eggs. However, I highly recommend you order some Italian 00 flour because it will make your fresh pasta taste better. Other things needed: a good rolling pin, patience, and some music to listen to while you work.
The result? A fresh, light, and springy pasta. The soft and chewy texture pairs particularly well with creamy sauces, seafood, and veggies.
- It's true. You really don’t need a pasta roller attachment to make pasta. I rolled this out with a regular rolling pin.
- This looks like a long and kind of scary recipe. There is a lot of explanation, so don’t be frightened by the number of words. You will stop and re-read the recipe multiple times the first time you make it, but it really is simple.
- Buy the Italian 00 flour. It is more finely ground than other types of flour and yields silky smooth noodles. I’ve tried to make pasta using American all-purpose flour and the noodles were not quite right. You won’t regret buying the 00 flour (you can also use it for pizza crust!).
A bread that pairs well with homemade pasta is Ligurian Focaccia.
Many thanks to Samin Nosrat for her recipe and method to make the homemade egg pasta. It’s a classic that you will make again and again and again. Piazza della Rotunda photo credit goes to Gabriella Clare Marino on Unsplash.Print
2 cups 00 Italian flour
2 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
Make the dough:
- Mound the flour on a flat surface, like a wooden cutting board. Make a well in the center of the flour and add the eggs and egg yolks. Use a fork to gently beat the eggs, incorporating some flour from the sides while keeping the liquid inside the well.
- Once about half of the flour has been added, use your hands to gently mix the dough into a dough ball that holds together. Add a teaspoon of water if it is too stiff. Knead the dough for 4 or 5 minutes to incorporate all the flour and egg together.
- Wrap the dough ball in plastic wrap and let it rest on the kitchen counter for 30 minutes (up to 4 hours) to completely hydrate the flour. Prepare 2 or 3 baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper and dusting them with flour.
Roll the pasta:
Divide the dough into four equal pieces. Remove one piece and re-wrap the remaining three. Flatten the quarter piece with the heel of your hand into a rectangular shape. Roll out using one of the following methods.
Rolling Pin Method
Dust your cutting board and dough with flour. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin, keeping it to a rectangular-ish shape about 12 inches in length, until it is about 1/16th-inch thick. You will need to sprinkle with flour several times. Place on one of the prepared baking sheets and cover with a clean cloth. Repeat with the remaining dough. Dust with flour before stacking the next rolled sheet on top to prevent sticking.
Pasta Roller Attachment Method
Pass the dough through the roller, fold it in half, and roll again. Repeat a few times until the dough is smooth and even textured. Now you can start to roll it more thinly by moving the setting on the attachment. You will need to sprinkle with flour several times. Roll until the dough is about 12 inches in length and 1/16th-inch thick. Place on one of the prepared baking sheets and cover with a clean cloth. Repeat with the remaining dough. Dust with flour before stacking the next rolled sheet on top to prevent sticking.
Cut the pasta:
You should have four stacked sheets of thinly rolled dough about equal in size and thickness. Cut using one of the following methods.
Fold the sheets (either all together or one by one) in thirds, like folding a letter to go into an envelope. Use a sharp knife to cut the dough in ½-inch increments until all the dough is cut. You can make these increments wider or skinnier, depending on how wide you like your noodles. Gently separate the noodles, fluffing with more flour if needed. Pile the noodles into small nests on the prepared baking sheets. Let dry 30 minutes before cooking. If not cooking right away, cover and store in the fridge for up to 2 days or freezer for 2 weeks.
By Cutting Attachment
Pass the pasta sheets, one at a time, through the cutting attachment on the pasta roller. Gently separate the noodles, fluffing with more flour if needed. Pile the noodles into small nests on the prepared baking sheets. Let dry 30 minutes before cooking. If not cooking right away, cover and store in the fridge for up to 2 days or freezer for 2 weeks.
Cook the pasta:
Fill a large pot with 4 or 5 quarts of water. Add about 1 Tbsp. of salt to the water (yes, really). Remember the majority of the salty water is going down the drain in a few minutes. Bring the water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook anywhere from 2 to 6 minutes, depending on how thick your noodles are. Drain and top with whatever sauce you’d like.