Through the years, I’ve tried dozens if different recipes for making fresh pasta dough. And after many, many trials and experiments, I’ve found this one to be the most dependable, resulting in homemade pasta that is worthy of the best restaurants Italy has to offer.
The key to success with this recipe and technique is to let the pasta dough rest, allowing the gluten to redistribute throughout the pasta for a great texture.
- 2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour (I prefer King Arthur flour)
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 large whole eggs plus 2-3 egg yolks, beaten
- Semolina or all-purpose flour for dusting
1. Put the flour and salt into a mixing bowl or food processor. Add the 2 whole eggs and 2 yolks and mix for a minute or two until the dough comes together. If the dough is too dry, add an additional egg yolk or a little water. If the dough is too dry, add additional flour one tablespoon at a time. Heat and humidity in your kitchen can affect the pasta dough.
2. Place the dough onto a cutting board and knead it to form a ball. Flatten the dough with your hands into a disk about 1-inch thick. Wrap the dough in plastic and let it rest at room temperature for at least 1 hour.
3. Divide the dough with a knife into 4 pieces. Knead each dough pieces until smooth. With a rolling pin or pasta machine, roll the dough pieces, one at a time, into the thickness of the pasta shape you want (thicker for pappardelle, thinner for spaghetti). You’ll now have 4 long pasta sheets.
4. Cut each pasta sheet in half, to make 8 smaller sheets. Dust the sheets lightly with flour to help keep them from sticking.
5. Roll the pasta sheets up and cut them to your preferred thickness with a sharp knife or use a pasta machine to cut the dough into the pasta shape you want. Repeat until you’ve used all of the pasta sheets.
6. Fluff the cut pasta gently and spread it out onto a flour-dusted baking sheet. Refrigerate, uncovered until ready to use.
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Originally trained as an anthropologist, Ted Scheffler is a seasoned food, wine & travel writer based in Utah. He loves cooking, skiing, and spends an inordinate amount of time tending to his ever-growing herd of guitars and amplifiers.