Dinners aren’t always easy. In our house, the more veggies we introduce, the more blank stares we receive. Always a winner for us? Pasta. Sometimes we can’t fight it and I reach for the box. Seeing Stella make pasta with her family in Italy made it us think… Is this something we could actually do as a family in our own home? Turns out it is! The entire family had a ton of fun and the results were absolutely delicious. Give it a try and let us know what you think.
With a little patience and a lot of flour, Nonna taught Stella how to mix the egg into the flour gently, roll out the dough and pass it through the machine. In the end, it turned out to be some of the best pasta Stella had ever had and she’ll always remember the time Nonna taught her how to make it (in Italy!).Pasta comes in all shapes and sizes, from itty-bitty bowties to long, fat strands of spaghetti. If you’re making homemade pasta, we suggest making fettuccine or pappardelle – both thicker strands and less likely to break. As for a sauce, a little olive oil and Parmesan cheese will be delightful, but if you’re serving a large group we recommend pairing these delicious noodles with Nonna’s pasta sauce or a light pesto.
|6 servings||10 minutes|
|Cook Time||Passive Time|
|5 minutes||30 minutes|
Once you try a homemade pasta dish, it will be hard to go back to your usual boxed pasta. This recipe calls for eggs and flour but feel free to add in a dash of olive oil for taste or water if you find your dough to be too dry. Pair it with our Nonna's pasta sauce for your next family meal!
- Mound the flour in the center of a large wooden board or counter top. Make a well in the center of the flour and add the eggs, olive oil and salt.
- Using a fork, beat the eggs together slowly beginning to incorporate the flour; starting with the inner rim of the well. As you expand the well, keep pushing the flour up to retain the well shape (do not worry if it looks messy).
- When half of the flour is incorporated, the dough will begin to come together. Start kneading the dough, using primarily the palms of your hands. Once the dough is a cohesive mass, set the dough aside and scrape up and discard any dried bits of dough.
- Continue kneading for 10 minutes, dusting the board with additional flour as necessary. The dough should be elastic and a little sticky to the touch. (If you press your finger into the center of the dough it regains its shape).
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature before using.
- Sprinkle a baking sheet generously with flour (note: at this point aim to keep everything well-floured to prevent the pasta from sticking to itself or the roller as you work. If the dough starts to feel sticky as you roll it, sprinkle it with flour. Also sprinkle flour on any pasta you're not working (rolled, cut or otherwise) with and keep it covered with a dishtowel). Divide the dough into four equal portions. Dust the portions with flour and cover with a clean dishtowel.
- If you're using a pasta machine, set it to the thickest setting (usually marked "1"). Flatten one piece of dough into a thick disk between your hands and feed it through the pasta roller. Repeat once or twice. Fold this piece of dough into thirds, like folding a letter, and press it between your hands again. With the pasta machine still on the widest setting, feed the pasta crosswise between the rollers . Feed it through once or twice more until smooth. If desired, repeat this folding step. This helps to strengthen the gluten in the flour, giving it a chewier texture when cooked.
- Begin changing the settings on your roller to roll the pasta thinner and thinner. Roll the pasta two or three times at each setting, and don't skip settings (the pasta tends to snag and warp if you do). If the pasta gets too long to be manageable, lay it on a cutting board and slice it in half. Roll the pasta as thin as you like to go. For linguine and fettuccine, you can normally go to 6 or 7 setting.
- Cut the long stretch of dough into noodle-length sqaure sheets, usually about 12-inches. If cutting into noodles, switch from the pasta roller to the noodle cutter, and run the sheet of pasta through the cutter. Toss the noodles with a little flour to keep them from sticking and gather them into a loose basket. Set this basket on the floured baking sheet and cover with a towel while you finish rolling and cutting the rest of the dough.
- To cook the pasta immediately, bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt the water, and cook the pasta until al dente, 4-5 minutes. To dry, lay the pasta over a clothes drying rack, coat hangers, or the back of a chair, and let air dry until completely brittle. Store in an airtight container for several weeks. To freeze, either freeze flat in long noodles or in the basket-shape on a baking sheet until completely frozen. Gather into an airtight container and freeze for up to three months. Dried and frozen noodles may need an extra minute or two to cook.
- If you don't have a pasta machine and you want to cut it by hand -- don't worry, it can be done! Divide the dough into four pieces and mimic the action of a pasta roller with a rolling pin. Roll as thin as possible, lifting and moving the dough constantly to make sure it doesn't stick. Sprinkle the dough generously with flour and then gently roll it up. Use a very sharp chef knife to cut the roll cross-wise into equal-sized noodles. Shake out the coils, toss with flour, and proceed with cooking.