- 600 g Tipo ’00’ flour (a very finely sieved flour ideal for making pasta – available in supermarkets)
- 6 large free range eggs
- Pinch of salt
Tip the flour into a bowl, or even better, on to a clean work surface. Make a well in the centre of the flour, add the salt and crack the eggs into it. Beat them with a fork until they’re smooth. Next, using your fingers, mix the eggs with the flour, incorporating a little at a time until everything is combined. It’s a bit messy, but good fun – just knead the pieces of dough together until they all bind together to give you one big, smooth lump of dough. Now it will be easier to work with, so keep kneading until the ball of dough feels silky and smooth.?This part might seem like a bit of a work out but it’s worth it, because the kneading develops the gluten in the flour which will give you perfectly textured pasta.
Wrap the dough in cling film and leave in the fridge for at least half an hour.
Now it’s time to roll. This part is much easier with a pasta machine. (Although you can use a long rolling pin, if you have the patience to keep going until the dough is rolled very thin).
If using a machine, make sure it’s securely clamped to you biggest, clearest work top, which has been dusted with 00 flour.
Take a lump of pasta dough the size of your fist, and press it out flat with your fingertips. Set the pasta machine at its widest setting and roll the lump of pasta dough through it, lightly dusting the pasta with flour if it sticks. Click the machine down a setting and roll the same pasta dough through again. Fold the pasta in half, change the pasta machine back up to the widest setting and roll the dough through again. Repeat this process five or six times. In doing this, you’re working the dough, and once you’ve folded it and fed it through the rollers a few times, you’ll feel the difference. It should be perfectly smooth and silky.
Now it’s time to roll the dough out properly, so that it’s ready to use. You need to work it through all the settings on the machine, from the widest down to around the narrowest. Make sure you lightly flour dust both sides of the pasta each time you put it though. When you get down to the narrowest setting, fold the pasta in half lengthways, then in half again, then in half a third time (so that you end up with a square-ish piece of dough). Turn it 90 degrees and put it through the machine at the widest setting. Roll it down through the settings for the last time. You will end up with a neat, rectangular sheet of silky dough with straight sides. Shape it the way you want. Our favourite and most simple shapes are linguine and tagliatelle. Sometimes the machine comes with special settings, and can do this job for you. If you prefer, just go free style with a sharp knife. It will cook in just a few minutes in boiling, salted water. Serve straight away with your favourite sauce.