My love of all things pasta comes from working at Macelleria (Ma-Cha-La-Ree-Uh) in NYC for 12 years. Owned and operated by the Bitici family, I was introduced and ruined for life – for what pasta SHOULD taste like. Surrounded by fresh pasta and sauces made daily and from scratch. Pappardelle – tagliatelle – ravioli. You had a bad day – rigatoni bolognese. You had an upset stomach – spaghetti, tomato basil. You wanted a quick snack – pasta aglio e olio – spicy – oily – herby. Perfection. I was a quick study – and had some of the most generous owners and chefs that were willing to answer my frequent questions and encouraged me just to try.
“Everything you see, I owe to spaghetti”Sophia Loren
Anyone can make pasta at home – with or without a pasta roller attachment. It just takes a little patience – someone to clean up your mess – and an appetite. Recently, I invited my cousin’s kids over to learn how to make pasta. Henry (11) and Scout (13), thanks to tic-toc, are adventurous, fearless and hilarious. They have been excited and eager to learn how to make pasta.
This is the recipe I use for pasta dough – it turns out perfect – every time! You do not need the pasta attachment for your Kitchenaid, you absolutely can make quick pappardelle (fat pasta strips) or spaghetti (thinner pasta strips) by just rolling out the dough as thin as you can, fold, and cut with a sharp knife. Let’s make pasta!
Fresh egg pasta dough by hand
- 2 1/2 cups flour (plus extra for dusting)
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- 4 eggs (room temperature)
- 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
- Make a well and measure the flour onto your clean island or countertop, mix in the salt, and shape the flour into a mound. Using your fist, or clean small bowl, make a well in the center.
- Add the eggs and oil. Break the eggs into the center of the well and add the oil. Using a fork, beat until the eggs and oil are blended, making sure the liquid doesn’t breach the walls of the well.
- Draw in the flour. Using the fork, gradually draw the flour from the sides of the well into the egg mixture and beat gently, always in the same direction, to combine the flour with the liquid. Secure the wall of the well with your other hand until the liquid has absorbed enough flour that it won’t flow over the wall.
- Use your hands. When the mixture is too stiff to use the fork, begin using both hands, gradually drawing in the flour from the bottom of the wall, until you have a soft but not sticky ball of dough. If it is too soft, add more flour, a spoonful at a time.
- Knead the dough. Using the heel of your hand, push the dough down and away from you, fold it in half back toward you, rotate a quarter turn, and repeat the kneading motion.
- This is important – let the dough rest. Shape the dough into a ball, cover with an overturned bowl, towel or plastic wrap, and let rest for at least 15 minutes before you roll it out. The gluten in the flour will relax, making the dough easier to roll.
- If you need to get back to your pasta longer than 15 minutes, put the dough in a plastic bag and into the fridge until you are ready. Allow the dough to warm up and then you are ready to roll!