Pasta

I shied away from making home-made pasta because I thought “that’s too hard”. It’s the easiest thing I’ve ever made (and I made flatbreads!). Add the sauce of your choice and you’ll have a quick, easy, and delicious meal.

I usually just press it with my hands (no rolling pin required) to make it flat enough to go into the largest machine roller setting.

Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • 80g ’00’ pasta flour, plus extra as needed for rolling
  • 20g finely-ground semolina, plus extra as needed for resting
  • 1 egg, 60g when weighed in the shell (see Step 1)
  • Boiling water

Kit

  • 1 small mixing bowl
  • A fork
  • Rolling pin (optional)
  • Pasta machine (you can just roll out the dough and slice it manually if you prefer)
  • A baking tray (optional)
  • A medium saucepan

Steps

  1. Mix the flour and semolina in a small bowl with a fork. If your egg is less than 60g, reduce the flour by that many grams; if over 60g, increase the flour by that many grams. Crack the egg into the middle of the bowl.
  2. Beat the egg into the dry ingredients with a fork until the dough starts to come together.
  3. Knead the dough in the bowl softly for about 2 minutes (not as energetically as you’d knead bread), until it’s smooth. Form a flattened ball, and leave in the fridge to rest for 20-25 minutes whilst you make your choice of sauce.
  4. Turn out the dough onto a very lightly floured surface. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin as thin as you want, or, to a thickness that the lowest pasta machine roller setting will take. (As per the main recipe description, you can just press it with your hands until thin enough to go into the lowest roller setting.)
  5. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions. Either run through the pasta machine to get what you want; or, roll out and manually slice with a floured palette knife or cutting roller for the desired shapes.
  6. If you’re not putting it immediately into boiling water, tossing it on a tray with some semolina is a good idea, to help keep it from sticking together.
  7. Cook in boiling water for just 1-2 minutes, until the pasta starts floating to the surface. Serve with your favourite sauce. (Below is tinned tomatoes cooked out with fresh basil, thyme, and chives, plus salt and szechuan pepper.)

Pasta Machines
I got mine quite cheaply from Domu online; the brand is Von Shef. It comes with 5 different rollers plus extra doo-dads, and although the instructions are really lame (i.e., non-existent) on how to put it together, I figured it out – and if I can do that, you can, too.  🙂  Or, do as Ottavia suggests and just use a rolling pin, which is how some Italian home cooks make pasta.

A Plea to Fellow Brits
We should all do as the Italians do, and add the pasta to the sauce (with a bit of the pasta cooking water), NOT dump the sauce on top of the pasta. It’s soooo much better this way. The ratio of sauce-to-pasta in Britain is far off from the classic Italian version, too: The sauce should accent the pasta, not overwhelm it.

Herb-Pressed Pasta
This is my new favourite thing. Take clean, fresh herb leaves (parsley works best as it’s quite a dry leaf, but use any herb completely shorn of any stem, and chopped if necessary for small bits). Roll the pasta through the lowest machine setting, place leaves on, fold over, and roll again. Continue rolling until you have the thinness you require.

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