How to Make Fresh Pasta
Eating fresh pasta for the first time is a revelation not unlike tasting your first homegrown tomato. It’s like another food it’s so wholly different from dry pasta: Its flavor is rich and eggy, and its texture is springy, tender, and delicate. And depending on if you roll it thick or diaphanously thin, it can cook up hardy and al dente or light and silky.
There are lots of fresh pastas on the market today, but it’s immensely satisfying, super fun — and, truly, not hard — to make your own. There are a few tricks, of course, and our chefs have laid them all out for you.
Here at Gelson's Market we’ve made pappardelle noodles, but you could use this recipe to make any pasta. Similarly, you’ll note that we’ve used the pasta rolling attachment for the KitchenAid mixer to sheet our pasta, but you could also use this recipe on a hand-cranked pasta maker. Or if you’re super motivated: Our Italian grandmothers and grandfathers used a rolling pin to sheet their pasta. It can be done!
Our tip: Your pasta will have an amazing texture if you use a finely milled Italian “00 Flour” and knead your dough for at least 5 to 7 minutes, even 10, to develop the glutens — it can feel interminable, but that’s where the dough’s springy elasticity comes from.
Ingredients You Will Need
2 cups Anna Napoletana Tipo 00 Flour, well packed
2 whole eggs
1 tsp salt
1 ½ tsp extra virgin olive oil
Directions for Making Fresh Pasta
- On a clean work surface or in large bowl, mound the flour and make a well in the center to hold the eggs.
- Crack the eggs into the center of the well.
- Add the salt and olive oil, and use your hands to incorporate all of the ingredients into a dough.
- Work the dough, kneading it with the palms of your hands until you have a firm dough ball, about 5 to 7 minutes. The dough should start to turn yellow.
- Wrap the dough ball tightly in plastic and rest it at room temperature for 1 hour. You can also make the dough ahead and store in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours.
- Once the dough is rested, divide it into four identical portions. With a rolling pin, flatten one portion and rewrap the remaining portions until you need them. Note: Pasta dough left out in the open will dry out, which makes it tough to roll and cut.
- Roll the portion into a rectangle measuring roughly 4 x 8 inches and lightly flour.
- With the pasta sheeting attachment on the KitchenAid set at #1, the widest setting, feed the dough rectangle through on medium speed. Fold the dough in half and feed it through again. Repeat this step a few times to stretch the glutens in the dough and build texture.
- Move the sheeter to #2 and repeat step 9. Continue this process until you have reached #5 on the pasta sheeter. Note: For a thinner, more delicate pasta you can move up to #6 or #7. For Pappardelle, we like a thicker more hardy pasta.
- Once your pasta sheet is as thin as you want it to be, lay it on a flat, lightly floured surface, and cover it with plastic wrap or a tea cloth. Then move on to the next dough portion, repeating steps 9 and 10.
- To cut the pappardelle, trim your long sheets into thirds and lightly flour them. Roll up 1 of the sheets tightly but without pressing hard. Turn it 90 degrees and slice it into 5 or 6 equal portions. Unroll it, lightly flour it, and twist it into a loose nest. Repeat with the rest of your sheets.
- To cook: Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and season generously with salt (it should taste like seawater).
- Place the pasta nests in one at a time, agitating with a spoon so they don’t stick together, and cook for roughly 3 minutes (a tiny bit longer for a softer pasta).
- Strain pasta and toss with a little olive oil, so the noodles don’t stick together.