I love pasta! The first dish I ever learned to cook was macaroni cheese. I was 7 years old and couldn’t even reach the stove-top without a stool but (with proper adult supervision of course) I made my own cheese sauce from scratch, and it’s been my go-to ever since. Both of my parents were cooks and pasta fans, so many other pasta dishes would feature growing up – spaghetti carbonara, baked lasagne, ham and mushroom tagliatelle. True fact – I once one a pair of trainers from a Nickelodeon phone-in for being able to name 5 types of pasta.
Yet I’d never made my own pasta before, and I’m not sure why. Then I was inspired by a colleague bringing homemade pasta in for her lunch, and I finally decided to give it a go. My first attempt I just used a rolling pin and a pizza cutter for rolling and shaping and it worked. Obviously since then I’ve bought a pasta machine – any excuse! You can pick them up for under £15 online or in places like TK Maxx so just keep your eyes peeled for a deal.
Homemade pasta is ultimate simple food. Okay to get the best out of it you could do with a proper pasta machine, but in essence all it takes is two ingredients and some elbow grease. Sure you can push the boat out and use proper 00 flour, or semolina. However if good old plain flour is all you have in, then that’s all you need. I use the traditional egg but if you need or want to be egg-free, swap for a similar volume of your choice of liquid – water is the easiest and you could add a bit of oil for richness; or pesto, spinach or tomato for colour.
[recipe title=”Homemade pasta” servings=”3-4″ time=”20mins prep, plus 30mins chilling” difficulty=”easy”]
200g plain flour
2 medium eggs
Boiling salted water to cook
- Put your flour in to a mixing bowl and make a well in the middle. Crack your eggs in to this well
- Start by using a fork to mix the eggs and gradually incorporate the flour. As it starts to come together abandon the fork and use your hands until all the flour is combined with the egg and your dough comes together in a ball
- Turn your ball out on to a very lightly floured surface and kneed for 5 to 10 minutes. You’ll know you’ve hit the sweet-spot between sticky and dry when the dough is smooth and springs back slightly when you press it
- Wrap the dough well in cling film and pop it in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes. If you’re having a complicated sauce with your pasta now is a good time to prepare it
- After 30 minutes take your dough out of the fridge and it’s ready to be rolled and cut. Either use a rolling pin to roll the pasta out as thin as you can get and cut in to strips with a knife or (like I did) a pizza cutter. Alternatively, if you have a pasta machine roll the dough out with that. I tend to go through at thickness 1, then 2, then fold over (book fold) and go back to 1. I do this 3 times and then progress up through the numbers until my sheet of pasta is nice and thin before cutting in to ribbons.
- Leave your cut pasta to dry while you get a pan of salted water to the boil. This fresh pasta will only need about 3 minutes once it’s in the water!
I hope I’ve made that sound as easy as it is! Please let me know if I’ve inspired you to try homemade pasta, or if I’ve just left you craving a big bowl of carb-y goodness!