Yes, I know, the idea of making your own pasta like a classic Italian Nonna sounds like a wonderful but time consuming thing to do. All that kneading, rolling and cutting by hand seems almost defunct when there is such a wide variety of pasta shapes to choose from, fresh and dried, in your deli or local supermarket these days.
And pasta is meant to be quick, isn’t it? Or is it?
There is something so zen-like about mixing a dough to a smooth elasticity, then carefully passing it through the rollers to create a satiny sheet to cut into playful ribbons. It is worth making it every so often, when time permits, just for the pure personal satisfaction.
Once you have mastered the art of making your own home made lasagne sheets and fettuccine, you can then graduate to trying your hand at pappardelle, ravioli and tortellini…the pastabilities are endless.
A few tips to keep in mind:
- Use pasta flour, often branded as Tipo 00, Doppio Zero or Special White flour, as it is finely milled from durum wheat which gives the pasta a smooth texture with a bit of ‘al dente’ bite.
- Knead the dough pieces until smooth before beginning the rolling process.
- Once shaped, the pasta can be kept refrigerated for up to 2 days, or frozen for up to 3 months for later use. Just sprinkle with flour and layer with plastic wrap before sealing in a freezer bag.
- Fresh pasta cooks quickly, usually within 5 minutes, so take care not to overcook it.
Below is my recipe for Home Made Pasta together with a couple of favourite dishes that you can toss the pasta in…including an authentic style tomato sugo.
If making the Pappardelle, then simply hand cut the home made lasagne sheets into wide ribbons. Also included is a favourite Ragù recipe that features rigatoni but also goes well with home made fettuccine.
I hope you will have a go at making pasta from scratch but, if not, you an always use store bought, of course…I won’t tell!