Every since my trip to Italy, I have really appreciated fresh, homemade pasta. It obviously takes a bit more time, but if you do have a few extra minutes to prepare your meal, it is so worth it. No matter how 'gourmet' it may be, I've never had a dried pasta that can match the flavor of homemade. There's actually something a bit therapeutic about the process as well, the repetitive kneading and rolling as the dough becomes elastic and silky. I actually had to pump up the AC for a bit - is that pathetic?
I just bought a new pasta machine but a few days before, I was being very impatient and insisted on fresh pasta. It would be the perfect complement to my last picking of summer tomatoes. I wanted a rich pasta so I added a couple of extra yolks. Since I didnt have a machine, I chose to make tagliatelle as it is a wider noodle. In hindsight, I would have rolled the dough a bit thinner, but my arms were getting tired... In a light and rustic sauce, complemented by a freshly baked parmesan crisp, it was the perfect meal to show off all of these simple and fresh ingredients.
When making fresh pasta, the ingredients that you choose are very important. '00' flour is a soft, fine-grain, Italian wheat flour that will give the pasta that silky and elastic texture. While not as important as the flour that you use, organic eggs give it that beautiful yellow color. If your recipe includes olive oil, make sure to use plain, not extra virgin as that will be too strong. Check out a my step-by-step tutorial on how to make your own pasta with minimal tools required!
1 2/3 cups 00 flour
2 large organic eggs plus 3 egg yolks
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp fine salt
semolina, for dusting
1. Sift flour with salt into a mound on your clean working surface. Make a well in the middle ensure that the walls are high enough to contain your egg mixture. Keep a small mound of flour to the side if any extra is needed.
2. Mix eggs, yolks, and oil and pour into well.
3. Using fingertips or a fork, gradually draw flour into egg mixture in a circular motion. When mixture is starting to come together, use both hands to form in a ball and knead for 5 minutes until elastic and silky. If dough is too sticky, add a bit of flour a couple tablespoons at a time.
4. Form into ball and gently wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
5. Divide dough into 4 pieces. Dust workspace with semolina and cover remaining dough with a tea towel to prevent it from drying out. Dust rolling pin with flour then roll dough out into a large rectangle at desired thickness. Flip dough often and dust with semolina to prevent sticking. Repeat with remaining 3 pieces. Keep pasta covered with a tea towel while you are working.