Fresh Pasta Recipe with Plain Flour: Do It Without a Pasta Maker!

September 20, 2012 2:03 PM EDT | By Anthony Smith
Lemony Garlic Kale Pasta
Lemony Garlic Kale Pasta (Photo: Flickr)

For our fresh pasta recipe with plain flour, we're going to be kicking ass and taking names-- and we're doing all of it without a pasta maker. I'll show you how absolutely simple this is, and why you shouldn't ever be intimidated by it ever again!

There's no getting around this: making fresh pasta is labor intensive. And with all the eggs and plain flour you're using, it's going to be heavy, too. But what makes it heavy and labor intensive also makes it special and wonderful. When cooks say that they make something with love, they're almost always talking about pasta.

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We're going to teach you how to make fresh pasta, and how to ignore myths like the well technique, which doesn't make any sense and just gets your table and floor all dirty. Here's how you do this perfectly each time, and without a pasta maker.

1. Start with a basic ratio.

Simple: 1 cup of unbleached flour to 1 egg.

This is the thing that gets messed with the most, because pasta conditions are always different. If the air in your kitchen has more water in it, this ratio will prepare something on the dry side because the flour will have already drawn in liquid. If your air is to dry, you're going to need more flour.

That ratio produces a pasta dough that's almost always on the wet side. So once you have it mixed together with your hands till it's homogenized and lovely (it looks like a uniform dough), test it for its consistency.

Is your dough too wet and sticky? To test, break off two pieces of the dough and stick them together. If you're having serious trouble peeling them off one another, add more flour to your dough. Keep in mind that if there's unincorporated flour on the surface of your dough, you won't get an accurate read. So make sure your dough is nice and uniform.

 Is your dough too dry? To test, break off two pieces and stick them together. If they come apart super easily, and their surface area is free of unincorporated flour, get a little more moisture in that dough. Add water one teaspoon at a time.

Optional: Add a teaspoon of nutmeg for every cup of dough you have. It'll give your pasta a nice, subtle complexity. But if you want to taste what pasta dough at its purest tastes like, feel free to skip.

2. Shock that dough.

Once you have the perfect ball of dough that's neither too wet nor too dry, punch the heck out of it, throw it at your table, be violent and take out your aggression. When you're done, put it in the fridge in flour-lined plastic wrap to set for twenty minutes to an hour. Let it rest

3. Take it out, roll it, and cut it.

Flour the surface of your table or counter.

Take out the dough and be efficient with how you work with it, or it'll have to rest again. Roll it out to whatever thickness you want, then cut noodles of it.

Add those noodles to a pot of boiling water and cook for two to five minutes. Enjoy!

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