I have been meaning to make fresh pasta ever since I purchased a pasta drying rack a couple of weeks ago. I always forget how easy it is to make it- and how wonderful it is to eat! The dough is silky, tender, and cooks amazingly quickly. Years ago (TWELVE years ago!), I took a “Hands on Pasta” class at The Chopping Block, a recreational cooking school and gourmet retail store in Chicago. It was the first time I had ever made fresh pasta, FUN and TASTY. 🙂 We made it by hand and with the use of a food processor. Now I use a stand mixer to make the dough because I find that the dough doesn’t get overworked, as it might in a food processor. This recipe is from that class- I just modified it to incorporate whole wheat flour. I have made it in the past with 100 percent whole wheat flour as well, but I have found that the dough is not as pliable. Fresh pasta is great with spring and summer produce. I am looking forward to making a lot of it this summer!
Pasta Dough: Stand-Mixer Method:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup semolina flour
- pinch of salt
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- Using the mixer attachment, mix the flours and the salt. Then, while the mixer is running, add the eggs.
- When the dough turns into a ball, switch to a dough hook. Break down the ball and reprocess. Keep processing and kneading for 3-4 minutes. The dough should be a little sticky.
- Let the dough rest for 20 to 30 minutes at room temperature covered with an inverted bowl or plastic wrap. The dough should darken in color and become less sticky.
Rolling the Pasta Dough:
- Set the roller on the widest setting.
- Folding into thirds before each repetition, and loading the non-folded side into the roller, roll the dough 3-4 times on the first, or widest, setting.
- Continue to feed the dough 3-4 times on progressively higher settings until desired thickness is reached. (I roll fettuccine to a thickness of 5.)
- Add the cutting attachment OR use sheets to make filled dough.
- Place cut noodles on a lightly floured surface, semolina dusted surface, in nests, or on a drying rack. The noodles can be made in advance. Once dry, the noodles can even be frozen.
- Cook in salted, boiling water: fresh noodles about 2 to 4 minutes, filled pasta about 3 to 4 minutes.