Making fresh home made pasta is easy but a little lengthy. For the most part, in hour house we use regular dry pasta for all of our recipes however, when the right ingredients like a fresh hunted duck or a succulent chunk of Boar come around, nothing better than prepare some fresh pasta to go with it, on the spot!
When I learned to make my very own fresh pasta from my grandmother we never used a scale, a measuring cup or a pasta rolling machine. She used to have a metal spoon, like the ones you used to find in groceries stores that sold beans, lentils and other dried goods… I remember her saying that it would scoop about 100 grams of flour, but that honestly it was not important to her: “Your hands will tell you how your dough is coming, and if you need any additional ingredients, or if you have to balance it out!”. Another cool fact that always intrigued me was that anytime she needed some extra water to soften the pasta dough she would ask me to fill a half egg shell from the tap. Many years later that act finally made sense: it is just a matter of proportions, as the eggs provided the liquid part for the recipe, anything measured in their empty shells will be proportional to what has been already used, genius!
We also used to roll the dough on her kitchen counter and use very wide rolling pins to work it to the desired thickness and then cut it with grandmas traditional pasta knife, a very long flat but sharp knife that was probably a good foot in length.
Now I am passing on Lola’s recipe to my girls here in the house, hoping that they will care one day to keep up with the tradition and possibly make me some fresh pasta when it will be their turn to host Holiday family dinners. We do not use rolling pins anymore, we have a pasta machine now! For my daughters, who are already very accustomed to DVR, iPad and all the plethora of devices they use on a daily basis, using a metal machine that clamps to a table and has a handle that actually needs to be turned in order to make it all work is Analogic enough and loaded with mystery. Rolling pins are just prehistoric!
Prep Time: 40 mins/ Cook Time: 5 mins/ Yields: 1 pound
Grandma's Quantities for 1 serving (multiply accordingly)
Add the flour and salt to the center of a large wooden board. Use your hands and make a well in the center of the mound.Whisk together the eggs and olive oil in a bowl and pour into well. Use a fork to whisk the eggs into the flour, incorporating slowly into the rim of the flour until it is completely incorporated.
Once incorporated, knead the pasta for about 8 minutes, adding just a bit more flour if the board is sticky. If the dough feels too dry, add a drop of water as you go. The dough should feel elastic, smooth, and a bit sticky.
Shape the pasta dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Let rest for at least 30-1 hour minutes at room temperature to let the gluten relax so rolling will be easier.
Set your pasta machine to the widest setting.
Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Roll each piece out from the widest setting to the thinnest. Hand cut pasta into pappardelle.
Gather together in your hands and shake it loose so it doesn’t stick together. Toss with some semolina flour. Divide into portions on a sheet tray.
Fill a large pot with water to boil. Boil pasta until al dente and drain, about 3 minutes.
NOTES:This recipe works for any kind of home made pasta. Simply cut your sheets in a different way and you can prepare your own Lasagne, Tortellini, Ravioli or Fettuccine. Making round pasta like Penne or Bucatini will require specific tools or special attachments for your pasta machine. Also you can save fresh pasta in the fridge for a couple of days, just make sure to use enough semolina flour to prevent it from sticking. If you want to dry your pasta and save it for a longer period just make sure you have cardboard boxes where to store it without braking it.