Soft, delicate, and delicious, homemade pasta is really worth the effort to make. Plus it feels really good on your hands when you’re kneading the eggs and flour together.
When I was a boy my siblings and I use to watch my Grandmother make pasta and there isn’t one of us that can’t whip up pasta in no time. My Grandmother, who was from Italy, could cut them so thin they did in fact look like Angel Hair, not that I had ever seen an Angel before or their hair, but I’d like to though.
Grandma was the master pasta maker and no one in my family has yet to surpass her pasta making skills.
When the pasta was ready she’d line a gift box with wax paper and fill it up with her homemade pasta. There were many Saturday afternoons when I’d walk up the big hill to my parent’s house holding one of those boxes so my family and I could indulge the next day for Sunday lunch.
This is how I did it:
I put four cups of flour in the middle of my pasta board and made a well. I cracked six eggs inside and added a teaspoon of olive oil and salt. I beat the eggs with a fork and brought flour into the eggs until it started to form into a dough. I then started using my hands bringing more flour in as needed and kneaded the dough until it was smooth while being careful not to over-use the flour because the pasta will come out tough and chewy.
I divided the dough into two balls and rolled it out into an enormous circle, turning and dusting it with flour so it wouldn’t stick to the board. When it is almost translucent you’re supposed to let the dough dry after you roll it out and after you cut it. I didn’t tonight. I started making them at 6:00pm and by 7:30pm we were eating. -Don’t let it dry for too long because the dough will crack.
When the dough is dry fold it up into a two inch flat tube. Then slice it as thin as you can from one of the ends and unravel. Sometimes sprinkling flour helps them unravel and unstick.
Allow the pasta to dry out.
When ready add them to salted boiling water and cook them until soft. Drain and toss with the sauce of your choosing.
The sauce I made tonight was simple: One large can of tomato puree, a few basil leaves, two minced garlic cloves and a dash of balsamic vinegar and I let it simmer and reduce.