I searched online for the perfect handmade pasta dough recipe and what I found was everyone has "The Perfect Recipe" and they are all just a wee bit different from the next. Best of all, they all work out wonderfully. I wanted a recipe where I had to do everything by hand. I wanted to mix, knead, roll, and cut it all myself. Just to know that I could. I really lucked out with this recipe. It was a total success and surprisingly easy. Most of all, I felt a huge sense of accomplishment and pride.
What inspired me was this clip of Pasta Grannies on youtube. This 100-year-old grannie made semolina pasta with only 2 ingredients and the only tools she used were her hands and amattarello, a wooden rolling pin. I had a rolling pin andItalian Semolina Flour sent to my house the next day via Amazon!
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup semolina flour
6 eggs. (2 whole eggs and 4 yokes)
a good pinch of salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. This helps when rolling the dough out by hand. It makes the dough a little bit softer.
Mix your flours and salt together.
Incorporate the oil into the eggs and beat them just a little.
Dump your flour out onto the table and create a large well so that you can pour your eggs into it. Make your well bigger than you think it needs to be. You'll want room to slowly whisk and incorporate the eggs with the flour in the center of the well.
Pour your eggs into the well. Using a fork, slowing begin to whisk the eggs and gradually pull flour from the well into the center. Be careful not to allow the egg mixture to flow outside of the well. If it does, just build back up your wall with the remaining flour. Once you have all the flour incorporated and it has turned into a much thicker mixture, wipe off your fork and start kneading with your hands.
You're looking for a malleable dough. You don't want it so sticky that it's covering your hands. If it does remain sticky, just sprinkle a bit more flour on your ball of dough. If you find that your dough is too dry, just sprinkle a bit of water onto the dough a bit at a time.
You will knead the dough for a good 7-10 minutes. This will help incorporate the gluten and make sure you have a smooth, silky dough.
When kneading the dough, what you're trying to do is incorporate the outside of the dough into the inside of the dough. You want a folding and rolling motion and take care not to tear the dough.
You will know that your dough is ready when you can poke it with a finger and the dough springs back.
After kneading your homemade pasta dough and bringing it into a ball it’s really important to let the dough rest. I wrap my dough in cling wrap and allow it to rest for 30-60 minutes at room temperature. This gives the dough time to let the flour absorb the liquid and for the gluten to relax. Gluten is what will allow the pasta dough to be stretched and rolled out to be super thin.
Unwrap your dough and cut it into 2 pieces with a dough cutter. A sharp knife will work too. Cover the piece you're not working on with plastic wrap to keep it from drying out.
Flour your work surface.
When you start rolling your dough out it will start out by making an oblong shape. Once you roll it out into a long shape, fold the top 1/3 down and then the bottom 1/3 over that. Then again continue rolling back and forth. This will create a much more even rectangle. You want to roll it out thinner than you think. You want to be able to just see your hand through the dough. You need it thin because when you put it into boiling water, it will swell and you will end up with really thick pasta.
Now you're ready to cut your dough.
Sprinkle your dough with flour. You don't want your dough to stick together. You are going to lightly fold your dough as if you were folding a letter to place in an envelope. Use your dough cutter to make 1/4" cuts along the dough. Once you've made all your cuts, open the dough strips up and give them a light dusting with flour so they don't stick together. It will also help to dry the pasta out and give it a nice texture. Set them aside and keep them covered while you work on your second piece of dough.
You can cut the dough to your preference.
This is rustic and handmade. It doesn't need to be perfect.
Because the pasta is fresh, it will not take nearly as long as dried pasta would. You will only need about 4 minutes in some salted boiling water.
Stir it while it's in the water to make sure it's not sticking. The only way to know if the pasta is done is by tasting it. After about 3 minutes, taste a piece to get a sense if it's done to your liking.
Make sure to save some of the pasta water to help finish off your sauce later.
Try this delicious cheese and pepper (cacio e pepe) pasta recipe with your hand-rolled pasta.