Fresh pasta is such a luxury that I know that I seek it out specifically when I crave it and know exactly which Italian restaurants in the area make fresh pasta daily. You can really taste the difference in the taste when you compare dried, packaged pasta to fresh pasta. My husband and I went on our honeymoon to Italy a few years ago, and man oh man was I rapidly spoiled by the beautiful, perfect pasta in both Florence and Rome!
Pasta dough is not easy to make (it takes practice to perfect it), but if you don’t mind the few steps it takes, I promise you it is WELL worth it! The results will astonish you. Believe it or not, fresh pasta takes only a few minutes to cook in boiling water (as opposed to 8-12 minutes for packaged pasta!). I have made so many different pasta forms from this dough recipe and enjoyed them all: tagliatelle, raviolis with different fillings, spaghetti, macaroni, rigatoni, you name it! However, for today’s recipe, I will keep it simple and provide only the pasta dough recipe. This will become the base for many pasta recipes that I will share in the near future (hint hint 😉 ).
I really do hope many of you try this pasta recipe out. It is only one way out of MANY ways to make pasta dough (e.g. there is a 7-egg pasta dough recipe out there on the internet, and many chefs differ on the flour-to-egg-ratio that they like for their dough). However, this recipe has worked well for me.
I have provided two different methods to produce this dough: 1. using an electric mixer and 2. my favorite, using your hands! 🙂
Enjoy! And please do continue to share your recipes/ideas/feedback to me via the comments section – it really helps me! THANK YOU THANK YOU! 🙂
2.5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Using an electric mixer:
In an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour and salt. Add the eggs, 1 at a time (this allows the dough to incorporate the moisture from the eggs evenly and also avoids making it lumpy). Once all the eggs are well-incorporated, drizzle in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil (make sure it’s extra-virgin!) and continue to incorporate all the flour until it forms a ball. Sprinkle some flour on work surface, knead and fold the dough until smooth.
Brush the surface with the remaining olive oil and wrap the dough in plastic wrap; let rest for about 30 minutes to allow the gluten to relax. Roll/ form as desired.
Using your hands:
Wash your hands! 🙂 Now, mound the flour in the center of a large wooden cutting board (or on a large countertop that you don’t mind getting a bit messy ;-)). Make a well in the middle of the flour, add the eggs, salt, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil into the well (see pic above).
Using a fork, beat together the eggs and begin to incorporate the flour starting with the inner rim of the well. As you incorporate the eggs, keep pushing the flour up to retain the well shape. Note: don’t worry if it starts to get a little messy!
Start kneading the dough with both hands. If you feel like the dough is too sticky and too wet, add more flour, in 1/2-cup increments, until you have a firm, smooth ball of dough. The dough should be elastic and a little sticky. Continue to knead for another 3 minutes (and remember to dust your board with flour, otherwise your dough will stick!). Remember, practice makes perfect so don’t worry if it’s not perfect your first few times.
Brush your dough with the remaining olive oil and wrap the dough in plastic wrap and set aside for 30 minutes at room temperature to let the glutens rest. Roll/ form as desired.