Homemade Pasta Dough
- If you can find Italian “00” flour, use it to make very delicate, yet chewy pasta. If not, all-purpose flour works really well.
- 2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour or “00” flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Adapted from surlatable.com
Place flour and salt in a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Make a “well” in the center of the flour mixture and add eggs and oil. Using your fingers, blend the eggs into the flour mixture, stirring the flour in from the sides of the well and working outwards. When the pasta dough is thoroughly mixed, turn it out on a lightly floured work surface. Knead dough until it is smooth and flexible but not sticky, adding small amounts of flour as needed, about 5 minutes. Gather the dough into a ball and flatten into a disk. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes at room temperature.
To roll dough, secure a pasta machine to the edge of a long countertop. Using a bench scraper, cut the dough into thirds. Keep extra dough covered in plastic wrap while working with one piece. Flatten the piece of dough into a rough rectangle so that it will fit inside the width of the pasta machine. Place the rollers on the widest setting and roll the dough through the machine, catching it with one hand as you roll with the other. Take the dough and fold into thirds towards the center of the dough. Turn the dough so one open end faces the machine and roll it through on the widest setting again. Fold, turn, and roll once more on the widest setting. Continue rolling the pasta through the machine without folding, adjusting the rollers to the next smallest setting each time, until the desired thickness is reached. If the pasta sheet becomes too large to handle, use a bench scraper to cut it into more manageable lengths and continue rolling.
Cut sheets to desired shapes and sizes, toss with flour and set aside covered with a clean kitchen towel. The pasta can be cooked immediately or covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to an hour before use.
To cook pasta, heat a large pot of water over high heat until boiling. Add enough kosher salt to season the water like sea water. Add pasta and stir immediately to prevent the strands from sticking together. Boil until al dente, 2 to 3 minutes. Reserve about 1 cup pasta water and drain pasta through a colander. Alternately, remove the cooked pasta with a slotted spoon or spider and reheat water to boiling before cooking another batch.
Toss hot pasta with your sauce of choice, using the reserved pasta water to thin the mixture as needed. Garnish as desired and serve immediately.