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Ode to Homemade Pasta

Fresh Pasta Why has it taken me so long to make my own pasta? The taste was incredible and the velvety noodles were a treat for my homemade sauce. I do not think I will be buying blue boxes...

Fresh Pasta
Fresh Pasta

Why has it taken me so long to make my own pasta? The taste was incredible and the velvety noodles were a treat for my homemade sauce. I do not think I will be buying blue boxes of pasta anymore. This addition of the homemade pasta to my coveted traditional Italian sauce was a game changer. As I always note, you must have the right tools to do the job and the pasta attachment made for easy steps in processing the dough and then cutting the noodles.

There are four simple ingredients to this recipe. Some flour, eggs, time and lots of love. A great chef in Gloria Smiley teaches many a “Pasta” bilities classes for the Cook’s Warehouse in Atlanta. She is so patient in her style and she wants everyone to make their own pasta. She makes it look easy and encourages everyone to try this at home. I took her charge and set out on my mission with a dozen eggs and a fresh bag of King Arthur Flour.

Processing the dough
Processing the dough

Homemade Pasta Dough

– recipe shared by the one and only Gloria Smiley

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • At least 1 ½ cups of flour, be ready to add more as needed
  • Flour for working the dough and prepping your surface

A pinch of Patience

Lots of Love

*** Flour recommendation: King Arthur.   White Lily is a staple in many Southern Kitchens but this is too soft for dough.

Directions:

 Using a food processor:

  1. Break eggs into processor bowl fitted with plastic blade and pulse a couple of times.  Add 1-1/2 cups of flour and pulse several times until the dough comes together in a sticky clump.  If it does not come together, add a bit more flour and pulse again.

  1. Turn the dough out on a floured counter and knead with lightly floured hands until it is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.  Cover the dough with an inverted bowl.

Hand Mix Option
Hand Mix Option

Using the hand-mix option:

Place the flour on a work surface and shape into a “fortress” or “volcano”.  Add the eggs into the well keeping the sides high. With a fork, start mixing and breaking the egg yolks and gradually incorporating the flour. Continue this motion until the mixture is no longer runny. With a pasty scraper or bench scraper, start folding the mixture over on itself until most of the flour is incorporated and the dough can be gathered into a ball. Scrape your work surface of any dough bits that are too dry to work into the ball of pasta. Clean your hands if they are full of dough, as raw dough sticks to raw dough.

Knead this dough with lightly floured hands until it is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.  Cover the dough with an inverted bowl.

It is suggested to then cut this dough into at least six equal pieces about the size of an egg.

Continued steps with a pasta roller 

  1. Put the pasta machine rollers on the widest setting.   Working with an egg sized piece of dough, flatten the ball of dough with your hand and lightly flour it.  Pass it through the machine.  Then fold it into thirds, lightly flour the outside of the dough, and pass it through the widest setting again.  Do this several times until the dough is quite smooth and elastic.  Give it the “rubber band” test.  Then pass it through the widest setting one more time but do not fold the dough anymore.  Move the pasta machine to the next thinnest setting and put the dough through.  Continue to do this until the next to last thinnest setting.

  1. Cut into the shapes you desire.

  1. If you are cooking this immediately, bring a large pot of water to the boil.  Add some kosher salt.  As soon as the pasta has been rolled and cut, you can cook this pasta. It has been suggested that you allow the pasta to dry at least 5-8 minutes.

    Pasta Flagpole
    Pasta Flagpole - let the pasta dry for at least 5 min

    The pasta will turn whitish and expand in the boiling water.  Cook for about 2 – 3 minutes or until the pasta suits the dish requirements. Do not overcook. Be prepared to be impressed when you taste-test.

  1. If you opt to dry this pasta, best results are obtained by using a pasta drying rack. Dry this pasta completely, do not try to transport as it will crumble and break.

  1. Date and store in plastic food storage bags for up to three months.

Flavor variations: Add two tablespoons of lemon zest to create a lemon pasta. Add two tablespoons of chopped chives to create a chive pasta.

A pinch of patience and lots of love create some fabulous pasta! I promise, you will never go back!