Making fresh pasta is one of those things I’ve never really had the urge to try. Seeing people on TV throwing eyeballed amounts of flour onto an empty counter, digging a little hole in the middle and mixing in the eggs, just seemed complicated. Without planning for it, however, I ended up making fresh pasta at a Casa Toscana cooking class and it wasn’t as complicated as I envisioned. Plus, there’s something satisfying about cooking pasta you made yourself.
Sandra Stefani, chef and owner of Casa Toscana, did not throw flour onto a counter. In fact, she discouraged us from doing that. Instead, she put the flour into a bowl, mixed it in with the eggs and then let her students knead the dough until it reached the consistency desired — stiff and elastic. We flattened it with a rolling pin and then Sandra pulled out what she called her “Mickey Mouse pasta machine.” We took turns stretching and cutting the dough. After one try, I just wanted to keep doing it. We cut the pasta dough in many different shapes and prepared it with a simple tomato, garlic and basil sauce. It was easy and fun.
Now I have to see if I can replicate this at home. It may take a little practice, but at least now the intimidation is gone.
– 3 extra-large eggs
– 2 cups all-purpose flour
Place the flour in a large stainless steel bowl.
Break the eggs one at a time, mixing the egg into the flour with a fork. Once eggs are incorporated into the flour begin kneading with your hands until the dough is stiff and elastic. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 30 minutes.
Divide the dough into several balls and flatten each with a rolling pin, then with a pasta machine until very thin, flouring as you roll to avoid sticking.
You may cut the pasta “rustic style” with knife or with the pasta machine attachment.
Fresh pasta is delicate so it must be cooked for a minute or two in boiling water. Serve immediately.
* Recipe by Sandra Stefani