Basic Egg Pasta
Makes about 1 1/2 pounds, enough for 4 to 6 servings
I’ve received hundreds of letters from readers and viewers telling me how
much they’ve enjoyed learning how to make homemade pasta. For those of you who haven’t tried it, I urge you to do so. Even the best imported pasta doesn’t hold a candle to pasta made by hand.
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 cup semolina flour
- About 2 1/2 cups King Arthur™ unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- To make the dough in a food processor, put the eggs in the bowl of the processor and process until smooth. In a bowl, mix 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, the semolina flour, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the eggs 1 cup at a time and process just until a ball of dough starts to form. Add a little water if the dough seems dry, a little more flour if it seems wet. The dough should not be so sticky that it clings to your fingers. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it, adding additional flour as necessary, for about 5 minutes or until smooth. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes before rolling out and cutting into the desired shape,
- To make the dough the traditional way, combine 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, the semolina flour, and salt in a mound on a work surface. Make a well in the center of the flour and break the eggs into the well. Beat the eggs with a fork. Then, using the fork, gradually incorporate the flour from the inside walls of the well. When the dough becomes too firm to mix with the fork, knead it with your hands, incorporating just enough of the flour to make a soft but sticky dough. You may not need all the flour. Brush the excess flour aside and knead the dough, adding additional flour as necessary, for about 10 minutes or until smooth. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes before rolling out and cutting into the desired shape.
- Cut the dough into 4 pieces. Work with 1 piece at a time, keeping the remaining dough covered. Roll the dough out on a floured surface as thin as possible, or use a pasta machine to roll the dough out to the thinnest setting. Drape the sheets of pasta over dowel rods suspended between 2 chairs to dry slightly, about 5 minutes.
- If cutting the pasta by hand, roll up each sheet loosely like a jelly roll, then cut it into fettucine, vermicelli, or lasagne strips with a sharp knife. Or cut the pasta into the desired width with the attachment on the pasta machine. Hang the pasta strips over dowel rods as you cut them, or spread on floured towels, then cook immediately or dry for storage.
- Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling water until al dente, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain, sauce, and serve immediately. Or dry and store the pasta: Hang the strips over dowel rods suspended between two chairs until very dry. (I usually leave it on the rods for a day.) When the ends of the pasta begin to curl, it is dry enough. Wrap it loosely in aluminum foil and store for up to 3 months.