Fresh pasta is so much better than the store-bought dried stuff. The taste is another level, it’s a lot of fun to make and is much simpler and easier than you might expect. Moreover, after your first attempt, your mind will immediately fill with all the wondrous possibilities a simple sheet of pasta can bring!
Below is a simple pasta recipe for two. Use it as a start or building block for any variations your imagination will allow.
what you’ll need
Equipment: Pasta machine. Electric mixer. You can prepare the whole thing without any machinery. Knead your pasta, roll out with a rolling pin and cut into the right shape with a sharp knife.
simple fresh pasta: serves 2
- 200g ’00’ flour
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- pinch of salt
Preparing your pasta dough:
The first time I made pasta I went for the messy, traditional way and got properly stuck in:
- Place your flour on your work surface. With your fingers create a crater in the centre.
- Crack your eggs into the crater and add a splash of oil.
- With a fork, begin to whisk the eggs together, slowly incorporating small amounts of flour.
- Once your egg is fully combined, with your hands mix it together with any remaining flour and begin to knead until you have a dough. If it is sticky to touch, add a little more flour.
The second time, I opted for the more modern lazy approach – using a mixer:
- Throw all your ingredients for the pasta into a mixing bowl.
- Bind them together using a food processor.
- Once you have the beginnings of a dough, scatter a little flour on your work surface and knead until it comes together into a smooth ball. If it is sticky to touch, add a little more flour.
For both methods: place your dough into a clean bowl and cover to rest for at least 30 minutes. I felt that the more modern approach gave a smoother, better mixed consistency at this point, (may just be down to my abilities) and it was certainly less messy but there was very little difference once it had rested and the pasta was being rolled out.
Creating your lasagne sheets: (the basic pasta shape made using a machine)
- Once your dough has rested, scatter a little flour on your surface and flatten slightly. If you aren’t very experienced, I’d recommend dividing the pasta into 4 and repeating the following steps with each quarter.
- Pass the dough through your pasta machine on it’s widest setting. Fold in half and pass through again. If it gets a little sticky add a little flour. Try and fold irregular sides each time to give yourself a rectangular shape.
- Once you’ve passed it through at the widest setting 6-8 times, turn the knob down one setting and pass your pasta through again – no need to fold in half anymore. Continue to do this, turning the knob a setting each time until you have passed through the narrowest setting.
- Lightly dust your work surface before laying down your sheet of pasta.
- Once you have your lasagne sheets, you are now ready to create the pasta type you are looking for. If you have a particular attachment for you machine, once it’s attached, feed your pasta sheet through much like you have before. Otherwise, using a sharp knife or shape cutters, cut your sheet into the right design.
- If you are making ravioli or similar types, seal two layers of pasta with a touch of water.
Cooking the pasta:
- Drizzle a splash of olive oil and toss a teaspoon of salt into a large saucepan of boiling water.
- Gently add your pasta. Stir or twist your pan to ensure it doesn’t stick.
- Fresh pasta cooks very quickly. Cook for 2-3 minutes before tasting.