You Are At: AllSands Home > Food > Recipes > Fresh pasta recipes
There is no way to explain the difference in fresh homemade pasta and that which is purchased so the best way to experience it is to try making it for yourself. Most people imagine that making pasta entails long hours of rolling out dough and hanging the pasta to dry but in fact pasta is simple to make. With a bit of imagination even an average cook can turn out pasta dishes that will delight their family and friends. These tips will help you make pasta in no time at all and believe it or not, you will find yourself making homemade pasta often to enhance all your recipes.
To begin making pasta simply make a mound on a pastry board of 1 1\2 cups of flour. Form a well in the center of the flour and drop 2 large eggs into the well. Slowly beat the eggs with a fork then using your hands, gradually blend in the flour. Work the dough into a stiff ball and if it's sticky add a tiny bit more flour. Place the dough on a piece of waxed paper and thoroughly clean the board. Then knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic which should take between 8 and 10 minutes.
Next, divide the dough in two parts and place one half in a covered bowl. Using a long untapered rolling pin roll out the other half until the entire piece of dough is about 1\8 inch thick. While you are rolling out the dough you should rotate it one quarter turn after each roll to keep it round. Instead of pressing down on your rolling pin press outward to ensure the dough will be an even thickness. When the dough is completely rolled out place the rolling pin at one edge and roll the dough up on the rolling pin. This will stretch the dough. As you are rolling the dough up on the rolling pin you will need to simultaneously slide the palms of your hands toward the ends of the rolling pin. Continue to roll and stretch the dough until you achieve a paper thinness. Set this aside to dry and repeat with the second half of the dough.
Allow both halves of the dough to dry for 30 minutes and then roll each into a jelly roll shape. Using a very sharp knife cut the dough to the desire width. If you are making fettucini the dough will need to be cut into 1\8 inch strips. For tagliatelle the strips should be about 1\4 inch. Be sure as you cut to separate each strand and allow the cut pasta to dry for no less than 5 minutes before you begin cooking it. The recipe given above will make four servings of pasta or approximately one pound.
To cook your pasta pour 4 quarts of water per pound of pasta into a large pot. Allow the water to come to a boil and then add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and 1 1\2 teaspoons of salt per quart of water. Gently slide the pasta into the boiling water all at once and immediately stir to separate the strands. If you are cooking a large amount of pasta you will need to cover the pan so the water will come back to a boil quickly. In most cases it only takes one minute to cook fresh pasta compared to the 5 to 10 minutes it takes for commercial pasta to cook. It is wise to stir and taste fresh pasta often to check for doneness and when it is firm to the bite immediately drain away the water. Add your sauces or flavorings and serve your pasta immediately.