If you’ve never made fresh pasta, you are in for a treat! Delightfully fresh al-dente noodles are a comforting indulgence on cold winter days and a great way to learn new kitchen skills. Plus, it’s really fun to make! You won’t be able to resist cranking the handle, feeding the dough into the machine and watching those long, squiggly noodles come out the other side. But don’t worry if you don’t have a pasta machine — it’s just as fun rolling the dough by hand!
Fresh pasta cooks in minutes and chances are, you already have all four ingredients. We’ve chosen Michael Smith’s simple pasta recipe to bring the taste of your favourite Italian bistro on to your table.
4 cups flour
1 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp olive oil
1. Mix flour and pepper, and pour into a tight pile on a flat work surface. Make a well in the centre. Crack five eggs into the well and lightly whisk them together with a fork. Add a splash of olive oil to the eggs. Using your fingers begin stirring the flour into the egg and if it seems like it needs another egg, add it now. The dough should be a little dry, but workable.
2. When the dough has formed into a workable mass, begin kneading it until it is smooth and elastic. Be patient, this will take some time, 15 minutes or so.
3. Flatten into a disc and wrap in plastic. Let dough rest in the fridge for at least an hour or two, overnight is best. Its elastic structure needs time to relax from the stress of kneading.
4. Set up and use a pasta roller, following manufacturer’s instructions. If you don’t have a pasta machine, cut your dough into 6 pieces and roll the piece of dough into a thin rectangle approximately . Starting at one end, fold your dough every 5 cm, creating a roll. With a sharp knife, slice the noodles crosswise into thin noodles.
5. Cut the dough into 6 pieces and flatten them into thin rectangles about 6 – 8-inches in length and 2 to 3-inches wide. Feed the rectangles through the pasta machine, gradually adjusting the thinness, until they have gone through the thinnest setting. Lay the sheets out on a baking sheet, sprinkling more flour on them to keep them from sticking together. Run the pasta sheets through the fettuccine cutter and hang to dry on a pasta rack.
6. To cook, bring a large pot of water to the boil. Salt liberally then add the pasta. Cook until the pasta floats to the top, 3 minutes or so. It should be al dente, cooked through but still chewy.
Simply Scrumptious Sauces
What should you serve with your fresh pasta? We’ve got four delicious options perfect for your noodles.
Leek and Lobster Linguini
If you are going to make homemade pasta, you might as well treat yourself to a luxurious dinner. All your hard work will be worth it when you taste this herb-filled sauce topped with buttery lobster tails.
Chicken, mushrooms, garlic, herbs and peas mingle in a deliciously rich and chunky sauce. Thick linguine noodles are a perfect fit for this hearty Italian dish.
If you find your noodles are a little thicker than desired, go for this classic, creamy dish.Top each serving with an extra crack of fresh pepper and grated Parmesan.
Winter Squash Fettuccine with Crispy Pancetta and Pecorino
This perfect winter pasta dish gets its creaminess from winter squash, balanced with salty pancetta and Pecorino.