Preparing pasta is among the most basic of all kitchen skills. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, knowing how to make your own homemade pasta from scratch is an essential technique that everyone should have in their cooking repertoire. Follow these steps to prepare pasta like a pro!
The basic ingredients of homemade pasta are flour, eggs, salt, and olive oil. You can use all-purpose flour or semolina flour. Semolina flour has a higher protein content, making the dough stretchier and more durable. For a more flavorful pasta, you can also add herbs such as thyme, basil, or oregano to the dough.
Step 1: Mixing the Dough
To make the pasta dough, mix 2 cups of flour and a pinch of salt in a large mixing bowl. Create a well in the center of the flour and crack in two large eggs. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the mix. Use a fork to whisk the eggs and oil together and gradually incorporate the flour until you have a cohesive dough. Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, roughly 8-10 minutes.
Step 2: Resting the Dough
After kneading, cover the dough with a towel and let it rest for at least 30 minutes. This allows the gluten to settle and the dough to become more pliable.
Step 3: Rolling the Dough
Once the dough is rested, it’s time to roll it out. You can use a rolling pin or pasta machine to achieve the desired thickness. If using a rolling pin, dust the dough with flour and roll it out thin. For a pasta machine, run the dough through the machine’s thickest setting, then progressively decrease the thickness until you have achieved the desired thinness.
Step 4: Cutting the Pasta
Cut the rolled-out pasta dough into desired shapes like tagliatelle or spaghetti. If you don’t have a pasta machine, you can cut the dough by hand. Make sure to dust the pasta pieces with flour to prevent sticking.
Step 5: Cooking the Pasta
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil before adding the pasta. Fresh pasta cooks much quicker than dried pasta and only takes 2-3 minutes to cook. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it in a colander and serve hot with your desired sauce.
Tips and Tricks
- To prevent pasta from sticking together while cooking, always add it to boiling water and stir gently.
- You can add spinach, beetroot, squid ink, or any vegetable or herb paste to the dough to create colorful and flavorful pasta.
- If the dough is too stiff, add a little bit of water, if it’s too soft, add more flour to adjust the consistency.
- You can also use a pasta drying rack to air-dry the pasta before cooking.
By following these simple steps, you can prepare delicious homemade pasta from scratch like a pro. Experiment with different flavor combinations, shapes, and sizes, and impress your friends and family with your pasta-making skills. With a little practice, you’ll soon become an expert in making homemade pasta.