I learned to make egg pasta while studying in Italy a few years ago. Some Italian mamas came in to teach us Americans the tricks of the trade. The recipe and process is simple but it is physically demanding. The Italian ladies made it look effortless but believe me, its not. I’m not one to shy away from a culinary task that requires a little elbow grease (I don’t own a mixer) but after making this last night, I woke today with sore forearms (granted, I have t-rex arms that are pretty useless). Making this pasta is fun and rewarding, but be prepared to hurt a little for your dinner.
If you’re up to the task here’s what you need to make homemade egg pasta.
- 2 cups flour
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbs olive oil
1. Mound your flour on a clean countertop and make a well in the center of the flour and add the salt and olive oil. Break an egg into the the well and beat with a fork incorporating a little flour. Repeat with the remaining eggs. Continue to combine the egg mixture and flour until most of the flour is mixed in.
2. Gather the mixture into a ball and begin to kneed the dough. Do this on a lightly floured surface. If the dough seems too dry, add a few drops of water. If it is too wet, add more flour. Kneed the dough for a good long while, approximately 10 minutes. If you haven’t guessed, this is the hard part. You stretch the dough and fold it over and smash it down over and over until the texture of the dough seems smoother and airier. This process activates the gluten and adds air to the the dough.
3. Divide the dough up into 5 pieces and roll each chunk out as flat as you can. Ideally, about the thickness of an old vinyl record. (This part is also strenuous.)
4. Slice the pasta into strips about 1/2 an inch wide.
To cook the pasta, boil a large pot of water and add salt and olive oil. Boil the pasta for about 5 minutes, tasting the pasta along the way to test for a slightly firm bite. Don’t over cook it! Drain and enjoy with the sauce of your choice. I served mine with some basil pesto topped with slices of pan-seared chicken and a side of sauteed asparagus.
This is a good recipe, but like I said it is difficult, unless of course you have really strong arms. The pasta I made last night turned out a little too thick. I didn’t manage to flatten it out enough and the noodles were really thick and chewy. My sweetie, Andrew really liked the fat noodles but it wasn’t quite what I was going for. Making noodles by hand takes practice or perhaps just building up strength but it is nonetheless an interesting endeavor. Good luck!