A few years ago I wrote about wanting to learn a perfect pasta recipe. I think I may have nailed it.
I’m not going to mess around with life lessons or an autobiographical piece. Too many cooking sites make you wade through some bizarre homespun philosophies for a good few hundred words before you get a sniff of a recipe. Not here. We’re going straight in to the basic pasta recipe.
Basic Pasta Recipe
300g ’00’ Flour / Extra fine flour
2 Eggs Yolks
- Measure out 300g of the flour into a pile in a large bowl
- Make a little well in the flour. Pour in 2 x eggs and 2 x egg yolks.
- Mix with a fork, slowly bringing in the flour into the egg mix
- Once it starts coming together, use yours hands to form into large dough ball
- Remove dough to board, and knead solidly for ten minutes. No shortcuts!
- Cover and put in fridge to rest for anything from 30 minutes onwards. I usually aim for two hours
That’s it! You’ve now got your dough ready for rolling which can be used for anything from shells to spaghetti to lasagna sheets.
I have experimented with different proportions of egg to flour but this just works every time for me. There are people who experiment with just yolks, or just water. Let them! I’ve found my dough recipe heaven and I’m not leaving.
The Pasta Roller
Technically, you could use a rolling pin to do the next stage, but technically you could also live on cat food alone. The pasta roller is, in my opinion, essential. It allows you to control the thickness of the pasta to a very precise level, it’s very quick, and many rollers also have additional components for cutting the dough. This is the one that I use – the Acymztu Pasta Maker. It’s brilliant, simply, and it’s one of the cheaper ones.
Once you had your cooled pasta dough, cut it into four. Then shape it into a rectangle, and then start to feed it into the roller.
You repeatedly roll it, setting the roller to a thinner setting each time. Once you’ve got your pasta to the thinness that you need, it’s time to shape it!
If you want spaghetti, fettuccine or tagliatelle, the roller above has an in-built cutter. Just feed the dough through and you’re done. Simple. You can also cut with a knife into strips.
Should you be keen on making ravioli, then consider a kit like this one. Ravioli is an incredibly flexible food to make. The choice of fillings is endless. Kits like these with the roller and stamper make the process much easier. The ravioli cutter is perfect for making farfalle too. Just cut and pinch them into little bow shapes.
My favourite to make is the shell pasta, or rocchetti. Armed with nothing more than one of these little pasta paddle boards, you’ll be rolling your own beautiful shells in no time.
The final thing a keen pasta maker may consider is something that I’ve asked Santa to bring me for Christmas. It’s a drying rack. It’s essentially a washing line for fresh pasta. You can also get them in wood and various permutations that allow you to fold them away for easy use.
My experience is that homemade pasta tastes different to shop fresh or dried pasta. It’s fresher, tastier and more satisfying because you’ve made it yourself. Plus, (especially with ravioli) you can make it exactly the way you want it. Good luck with the pasta making!