What is the one dish that defines Italian cuisine? I know many of you will hurry and say “pizza”, but I hope you also love pasta. With so many kinds of pasta sold in stores, you are most probably thinking about getting some sauce from the shelves, too and put them all together. I solemnly ask of you to forget about all these ideas and stick with me for a small lesson on how to make your own pasta at home. It’s simple, it’s fun and you may find it even more delicious than those you can buy from the store. So, let’s get to work!
Maybe you are thinking that the most difficult part is to make the dough itself. But things are not as hard as they may seem at first glance. Here is my quick recipe that never fails. I mix 2 cups of flour with half a teaspoon of salt. Use an appropriately sized mixing bowl, so you do not end up spreading the flour around. Add 3 eggs, right in the middle and use a fork to mix all the ingredients. (I personally prefer to use my hands to mix the dough, but you can do just as you desire.)
At first, the mix will not be very firm, and it may not absorb all the flour. Do not worry; once the eggs are well incorporated, pour the mix over a clean counter and start flattening and folding it. Repeat this procedure until you feel the dough becoming firmer. This is when you start kneading for real. To know when it is ready, slice the dough in the middle with a knife. If you notice a lot of air bubbles, you still have work to do. The final result should be an elastic kind of dough, with as few air bubbles as possible.
Let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes in a bowl covered with a plate. After doing so, spread flour on your working area, and take the dough out. Split into four equal parts with a knife, and then use a rolling pin to flatten each part, until you achieve the thickness you want. You can fold the dough gently, and then cut noodles out of it, choosing the width you prefer. You can spread the noodles a bit.
Using the pasta
If you want to use your noodles right away, boil water in a pot with a bit of salt and throw the noodles in, when the water starts boiling. Let them boil for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, so they do not become stuck to one another. In case you want to use the pasta later on, you should dry it. For this, you need an area that is well aired and a rack for placing the noodles on it. You then let the pasta dry until it feels brittle. Put the dried noodles in an airtight container and use them whenever you need them.
This is all! You will have homemade delicious pasta anytime you are in the mood to cook something Italian!