Handmade Pasta (fatto a mano)
Updated: Mar 29, 2020
Fettucine, Mafalde and Farfalle - no special equipment necessary, just eggs, oil and flour!
Prep time: 75 minutes. Cook time: 5 minutes. Yields: 6 servings
4 cups all purpose flour (plus more for dusting later)
4 Jumbo eggs or 4 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
Up to 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt (plus 1/3 cup for pasta water)
2-4 tablespoons of water
For the Sauce
Tip: Get creative here, use capers, anchovies, olive tapenade, pesto, pecorino and black pepper (aka cacio e pepe), have fun!
1 stick salted butter
A few sprigs of fresh rosemary, sage, or thyme
2 large cloves fresh garlic (smashed with the flat part of your knife)
Pinch of crushed red pepper
Zest of lemon
Parmesan for serving
1. On a clean surface, form a well with the flour. Make sure it's wide enough and the "walls" are high enough to hold 4+ eggs. Add the salt.
2. Pour the eggs into the middle of the well, and with a fork, gradually beat them while picking up flour from the bottoms and sides of the well.
3. Add in half the olive oil and half the water. Start to work the dough with your hands. It will be shaggy, if it feels dry, add more oil and water. Tap the dough ball on the surface to pick up the small pieces of dough that have separated from the ball.
4. The dough should begin to come together. If it's still dry, add more water.
5. Knead the dough. Keep it in a ball, using your fingers, pull the dough ball towards you, and with the heel of your palm, push it out. Keep using this motion, putting your body weight into it, for 5-10 minutes, until the dough comes together as a smooth ball.
6. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and store on counter for use after resting (for at least 30 minutes, 1 hour is ideal). Dough can also be stored in the fridge for up to 24 hours, in tightly wrapped plastic (the freezer is better, for up to one month).
7. After it has rested, remove the dough from the plastic and cut it in quarters. Work with one section at a time, and leave the rest of the dough in the plastic, so it doesn't dry out.
8. If cooking in same day, bring a large pot up to a boil over a high-flame with 6-8 quarts of water and 1/3 cup salt.
9. Flour your work surface and rolling pin, and roll out the dough until it is see-through. You can also use a kitchen aid pasta attachment. Begin on the widest setting (below 1, and feed it through, twice on one setting if necessary, until you get to the 6 or 7 on the dial).
10. Sprinkle the dough with flour and cut the pasta sheet down to size (about 10-15 inches in length). Roll the pasta and cut into half-inch strips for fettucine (technically this thickness is tagliatelle, but my nonna still calls it fettucine). Optional: to make farfalle with frilly edges, use a fluted pastry cutter, see video. This can also be done with just a knife.
11. Add flour to the ribbons of pasta, so they don't stick together. At this point, you can create nests of pasta and leave them on the counter for a few minutes to dry out, before freezing. If freezing the nests, place them on a tray (being sure they're not touching), freeze until hardened, then put the frozen nests into a zip top bag.
12. If using all the pasta, melt 1 stick of butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat, add smashed garlic, fresh thyme, and crushed red pepper. Swirling around until the butter turns golden brown in color.
13. Drop the pasta into the boiling water, using a spatula to gently stir it in the water. Cook for 2-3 minutes (based on the thickness), when pasta floats, it's just about ready.
14. With a strainer, transfer the pasta to the large saute pan. Toss the pasta with tongs or a spatula, while still over the heat. Use pasta water to thin out the sauce if necessary.
15. Transfer to a bowl, garnish with parmesan cheese, fresh thyme leaves, and lemon zest.