Pasta dishes hold a special place in my heart. There is always something very comforting about a bowl of warm noodles coated in sauce and cheese. Most of the time I use dry pasta. It is consistent, convenient, and delicious. However, when I have extra time and want a meal to be just a little more satisfying, I like to make fresh pasta. It can seem a little intimidating at first, but once you have practiced a few times, it becomes second nature. Knowing a basic pasta recipe also allows you to be creative. You can alter the thickness, width, and shape of the noodle to match whatever sauce or meat you intend to pair with it. These wide pappardelle noodles are my favorite to pair with a rich meat sauce, such as Braised Oxtail.
Preparing The Meal
Mound the flour in the center of your work surface. Create a well in the center of the mound, and pour in the eggs and water. Use a fork to begin incorporating the flour, starting with the inner rim of the well. Once the mixture has formed a shaggy dough, lightly flour the work surface and begin kneading the dough. Continue incorporating flour, turning the dough over several times to expose the moist side of the dough to the flour. This will encourage the flour to be absorbed.
Using the heel of your palm, push the dough down and away, then fold the edge back over the top (try to keep a round ball of dough). Each time you do this, rotate the dough 90 degrees clockwise. Continue kneading the dough for about 5 minutes, flouring the work surface as needed. You want the dough to be cohesive, and moderately smooth. You want to make sure you have added enough extra flour that the dough is slightly firm, and releases from your fingers.
Form the dough into a smooth round ball and wrap it in plastic to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. After the dough has rested, divide it into four equal portions. Working with one piece at a time (make sure to keep the other portions covered) flatten the dough into a rectangle. Run the dough through your pasta sheeter on the largest setting (usually 1) to flatten it out. Fold the dough in 3, crosswise. Use your fingers to dimple the dough to help the folds adhere. Roll the folded dough through the sheeter. Sprinkle the dough with flour as needed.
Reduce the thickness setting on the sheeter one number for each subsequent pass, until the desired thickness is reached (about 1/16” for this recipe). Place the sheet of dough between two cotton cloths for about 20 minutes, flipping once halfway through. Repeat the process with the remaining portions of dough.
Cut each individual sheets to about 12 inches long. Roll up the sheet of dough from both ends toward the middle to make a double tube. Fold one tube over the other to make a compact tube. Begin cutting the dough into even slices about 1/2” wide using a sharp knife. Run your fingers down the center of the dough strips and lift up, allowing the strips to unravel. Gently shake the strips to separate them. Lightly dust the strips with flour and gently form small portions of noodles into nest. Place the nests on a sheet pan and cover with a cloth. Cook as desired.
350 Grams All-Purpose Flour, Plus More For Dusting
3 Large Eggs, At Room Temperature
1 Egg Yolk
2 to 3 Tablespoons Water, At Room Temperature
Yield: Serves 4