I make pasta from scratch every once in a while. It's easy to do, and the results are delicious.
The process of pasta making is easier to show than to write about; so, this Instructable will mostly be pictures of the process with a little bit of written direction.
The kind of pasta I make has only four ingredients:
2 cups Flour
3 large Eggs
1 tsp Olive Oil
0-3 tsp Water
Step 1: Add Ingredients
Measure out two cups of flour and dump them on a clean work surface. Use your hand to create a depression in the flour. Crack your three eggs into the depression. Add 1 tsp olive oil to the eggs.
Don't worry if the flour walls begin to crumble. It won't affect the pasta, but it will make more of a mess.
Step 2: Mix Ingredients
Scoop some of the flour from the walls into the eggs and gently begin mixing the flour into the eggs. Slowly incorporate more of the flour into the eggs. The goal is to get enough flour into the eggs so that they aren't runny.
Once the eggs have some flour in them use your hand to mix in more flour. After a minute or two most of the flour should be incorporated and the dough will be somewhat crumbly. Knead the dough and try to get the rest of the flour incorporated.
If you can't incorporate the remaining flour drizzle 1 tsp of water on the dough and knead it for another minute or two. Add water 1 tsp at a time until the flour is all incorporated.
Step 3: Knead!
Knead the dough for a little bit and it will form into a cohesive ball. If the ball sticks to the work surface or your hands then sprinkle some flour on the surface. Knead the dough for five to ten minutes.
Divide the dough into equal parts.
Step 4: Roll by Hand
The next two steps can either be done with the help of a pasta rolling machine or by hand. This and the next step detail how to do it by hand.
Divide your ball in half again. Sprinkle your work surface with flour and flatten one of the balls out with your hand. Put the dough on the work surface and use a rolling pin to roll it out. Try and keep the pasta sheet as rectangular as possible. It will take some work to get it rolled out. When you cook the pasta it will get about 25-50% thicker. Keep that in mind when you decide that the pasta is thin enough.
I'm not very good at keeping the dough rectangular. If you look at the last three pictures I cut off a corner that stuck out and rolled it on to a corner that bent in. Then I trimmed it to make the edges neat.
Step 5: Cut by Hand
Take your sheet of dough and sprinkle it front and back with a little flour. Don't put much flour because it will dry out the thin sheet of pasta.
Roll the sheet up and cut the roll into thin strips. As soon as you cut the strips un-roll them because they have a tendency to stick together.
Step 6: Roll by Machine
Take the ball of dough and flatten it a little bit. Make sure the rollers are set on the widest setting. Start turning the rolling crank on your pasta rolling machine. Push the flattened dough into the roller and the rollers should catch the dough and pull it through.
Fold the dough in half and run it through the machine again. Repeat this 5 or 6 times, it will make the dough much more consistent.
Cut your sheet of dough in half. If you try to work with the whole sheet it quickly gets unwieldy. Don't be afraid of cutting the sheets in half if they get unwieldy.
If the sheet of dough starts to get sticky sprinkle a little bit of flour on both sides and spread it out with your hand. Don't put much flour because it will dry out the thin sheet of pasta.
Move your rollers one setting closer together, and run the dough through the rollers twice. Repeat this until your dough is as thin as you want it to be. Remember that the pasta will expand 25-50% when you cook it.
Step 7: Cut by Machine
Put the crank into one of the cutting rollers. I used the thin cutting rollers here. Take your pasta sheet and hold it up in the air and drape the bottom into the cutting roller. Slowly and evenly turn the crank and the pasta will come out perfectly cut. Before the whole sheet is cut put your hand under the cut pasta. Catching the pasta before it hits your work surface is much easier than picking it up. Then finish cutting.
Try hard not to have any creases go into the cutter. Creases will make uneven lumpy pasta.
Step 8: Dry and Cook the Pasta
I like to hang the pasta up to dry for a little while, but if you are cooking the pasta immediately it isn't necessary. Take some chopsticks or skewers and wedge them under a couple of plates and just throw your pasta over. Let the pasta dry for an hour or so and then freeze it or cook it.
It only takes a couple of minutes to cook fresh pasta so watch the pot closely.
If you need something explained more clearly or another picture to clarify the process add a comment and I will help you out.
First Prize in the
Burning Questions: Round 6