Think making your own pasta is hard work and requires fancy equipment? Think again. All it takes is flour really, however I use an egg as my liquid as I always have them thanks to the girls, and it adds a lovely golden colour. If you don’t eat eggs, substitute with either water, or try using roasted and puréed vegetables as the liquid portion.
Roughly speaking, 1 egg will give you enough pasta for 1 person as a main. I always weigh my eggs as I get widely varied egg sizes. This way I know that my pasta dough won’t be either too wet or too dry. If you make too much pasta dough, you can either store it covered int he fridge for a couple of days, freeze it as a block ready to shape at a later date, or you can shape and dry it and treat it like dried pasta when you cook it.
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- Eggs (water or even vegetable purée)
- Flour, ideally “00” pasta flour or semolina, but any will do
- Weigh the cracked eggs in a bowl. Then weigh 1.5 times the weight of the eggs in flour onto the worktop.
- Make a well in the centre of the flour and add the liquid. Slowly incorporate the flour into the liquid using your hands, a fork or a bench scraper, whatever you have.
- Once all the flour is incorporated, start the knead the dough. Notice at the start the rough texture of the dough. After 5-10 minutes of kneading the dough should be smooth and elastic. Cover and rest in the fridge for 30-60 minutes.
- Use a little extra flour to stop the dough from sticking and roll it out on your work surface. To make long ribbons roll the dough as thinly as possible. Dust the pasta with flour and fold in half. Dust again and fold in half again across the same plane. Using a sharp knife cut ribbons of pasta to your desired width. Immediately unravel the strands ready for cooking.
- To make cavatelli, roll the dough out in thick strands and cut into pillow shapes. Alternatively roll the dough out in a round to the thickness of a pound coin before cutting into small squares with a sharp knife. Using a gnocchi board*, roll a piece of rough under your thumb over the board so it curls and takes the impression of the ridges. Alternatively you can do this across your work surface using your thumb or a knife.
- Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Dust off any excess flour and add to the pan. Boil for 4-8 minutes depending on the thickness of your pasta. It should have a firm centre like al dente pasta.
- Serve immediately.
*Don’t have a gnocchi board? Why not substitute in a sushi mat, or the fine side of a grater, or make your own by using a board with some skewers held in place with some elastic bands.