I realized recently that From Scratch Club had never had a post about making fresh pasta and wondered why. I then realized that I had never made fresh pasta and wondered why.
While making fresh pasta this weekend for the first time there were moments when I thought it was kind of a hassle and figured that was why. During those moments I was planning to write a post about how it’s better to just buy fresh pasta from the grocery store. In the end the fresh pasta I made was so good, however, that I decided it was worth it. So, I still don’t know why I never made my own pasta before.
Of course there are a ton of resources out there with instructions on making your own pasta, but I chose Alana Chernila’s The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying & Start Making to guide me. Her instructions are simple and made it sound fun. In addition, I also asked for suggestions and advice from friends on Facebook and was surprised by how many people had already made their own pasta.
If you are making fresh pasta for the first time I would encourage you to consider two factors before you start:
1) You can totally do it without a pasta roller, but make sure you have a large, clean counter surface and a nice, clean sponge handy to clean it again when you’re in the midst of dough rolling.
2) Consider where you will hang your pasta to dry. We have a clothes drying rack that probably could have been used, but it’s kind of gross so I chose to hang a long piece of clean twine across my kitchen instead.
Other than that, it’s really not that tough to make pasta. I became a little discouraged when my twine fell and about a third of the pasta I had just worked hard on fell to the floor (don’t tell my husband I followed the three second rule). Below is my interpretation of Chernila’s recipe.
RECIPE: PASTA DOUGH
Alexis’ interpretation of Alana Chernila’s recipe in The Homemade Pantry
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 large eggs (room temperature)
Chernila says to make a volcano out of your 2 cups of flour and to crack the three eggs directly in to the emptied out middle. I did this and then realized that the emptied out middle of the flour needs to be pretty big, more like a crater, to hold all three eggs. Now I know for next time.
Despite the mess in the photo above, I got the eggs beaten, with a fork, and mixed in to the flour evenly. I kneaded the dough until it was smooth and divided it in to six balls. I then covered the balls with plastic wrap and left them for a half hour, like Chernila says to.
I do not have a pasta roller, so I used a rolling pin to roll out each ball to about one sixteenth of an inch thick. I thought I’d be able to make perfectly even strips of fettuccini, but that did not happen. They were good enough though.
I hung them on the twine, which I thought made my kitchen look like contemporary installation art. Chernila suggests letting the pasta dry for anywhere between 5 minutes to 2 hours. Mine hung for an hour and then I tossed it in boiling water, with some olive oil. She said it would need to cook for only a couple minutes, but mine needed more like 8-10 minutes. Maybe it was a little thicker than it was supposed to be, or maybe I didn’t have enough water. Anyway, my family and I really enjoyed the fresh pasta. We ate it with a little red sauce, some gorgonzola cheese and sauteed kale and chicken.
We will be hosting a giveaway for one signed copy of Alana’s book next week- keep a look out for it!