There is nothing like fresh pasta. When I was little my grandma would come stay with us during summer break and we would make pasta (among many other things) and although there are less opportunities for fresh pasta these days because time is a precious commodity, sometimes you just have to have it and it is so worth the time. When you are making fresh pasta it will take you ten minutes to combine and knead the dough.
With any pasta you will combine the flour (and salt if using) and place it on a clean countertop. Make a well in the center and reserve some of the flour on the side to adjust the texture. Add the liquid components in the center of the well and begin to swirl with a fork or your fingers, slowly adding the flour into the mix. when the dough forms a ball, knead it until it it smooth and supple, about 5-10 minutes and adjust with reserved flour if it is too sticky. Let the dough rest while you are preparing your sauce or other meal components or make it the day before. When it is ready to be rolled out (dough springs back when you press it with your knuckle) you can do it Grandma Barbuto style, with a rolling pin, then cut with a butter knife or if you have a pasta machine you run it through to your desired thickness, then cut. After you cut it you will hang it to dry until you are ready to cook it. If you are making a filled pasta you will work quickly to keep the pasta dough soft and malleable while you fill it.
When you are deciding on your pasta recipe, you can sub part of the flour for whole wheat flour and you can expect a less tender bite. Try different types of flour to your taste or 00 for a classic pasta dough.
If you want to flavor or color your dough you may add spinach puree (about 6oz/lb) and adjust the flour as needed. You can add an ounce or two of squid ink to make it black (don’t expect much flavor from this). You can add minced fresh herbs or saffron steeped water. You can try any vegetable puree for color or flavor, it doesn’t have to just be spinach, tomato or red pepper, try some different vegetable purees to match your dish such as butternut squash puree when you are making a brown butter and sage sauce. Report back if you discover a great combo and I will post your recipe!
Basic Pasta Dough Recipe:
500g 00 Flour
5 Whole Eggs
Thomas Keller’s Pasta Dough Recipe
500g 00 Flour
250g Egg Yolks (measure from about 14 eggs, save the whites!)
1 Whole Large Egg
25g Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Dried Pasta Recipe (such as cavatelli or malloredus)
7.05 oz Semolina
4.05 fl oz water
CIA Pro-Chef Fresh Egg Pasta Recipe
454g AP Flour
1-2T Water or as needed
2T Olive Oil (optional)