Basic pasta dough
I am a recent convert to pasta making. I got a machine earlier this year and I now make at least one batch a week, but often more. There really is nothing better than a fresh batch of pasta. Silky pasta ribbons and simple ingredients like a little shaved parmesan, a dob of butter and a few basil leaves torn up and mixed through. There are a million variations and accompaniments, but fresh really is best.
For 4 Person(s)
Basic Pasta Dough
- 1 cup 00 flour
- 1 cup semolina
- 3 eggs
- 1 tbsp olive oil
Basic pasta dough Directions
- Put your flour and semolina into a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Crack in the eggs and add the olive oil.
- Begin to mix your dough with a spoon until the ingredients just start to come together. Then turn it out on to a floured work surface and start kneading. I like to knead my dough for around 10 minutes to get a good silky dough. Wrap the dough in cling film and set aside to rest for at least 30 minutes. It doesn't need to go into the refrigerator.
- When the dough is rested it's time to start rolling it out using a pasta machine. Break off a piece of the dough, dust it in a little bit of plain flour and then roll it starting on the widest setting of your machine (generally 0) and working up to around setting 8 or 9 depending on what sort of dish you are making. For ravioli's I don't take the dough past setting 8 and often find that if the filling is particularly wet that setting 7 is best so that the filling doesn't soak through the ravioli. If you are making a fettuccine or a spaghetti you can take the dough right up to setting 9 and I find taking it this far gives the silkiest pasta and a pleasant bite when eating. Less than setting 8 will result in the pasta being too thick & firm for a fettuccine or finer ribbon pasta which is unpleasant to eat.
- Regardless of which type of pasta you decide to make, ensure that you give the end product a light dusting of flour to keep it from sticking to the surface where you are drying it or storing it before cooking. For fettuccine's and spaghetti shapes dry the pasta on a pasta rack or over the back of a chair for at least an hour or until it is dried and firm to the touch. For ravioli's I don't leave them to dry out for long as the filling makes the dough become soggy. Try to cook as soon as you can when you've finished making all of your ravioli's. In all cases I cook my fresh pasta for at least 8 minutes in boiling water before testing to see if they are ready.
For our Australian readers, finding semolina and 00 flour all depends on the supermarket you are buying from. I've found that different supermarkets keep these ingredients in different and unexpected areas. In my local IGA the semolina is actually in the cereal section of the store and they don't sell 00 flour. In my local Woolworths I couldn't find semolina at all but they do sell 00 flour and they keep it with the pre packaged bread machine mixes. Every store appears to be slightly different so ask someone if you can't locate these two key ingredients.
When I started out making fresh pasta I used plain flour. It certainly works and is a passable pasta, but when I switched to 00 flour I noticed a big difference in the quality of the dough and the end product. 00 flour is definitely the way to go when making your own pasta, but in a pinch plain will do the job. Because 00 costs me more, I use plain flour for dusting my pasta shapes and on my work surfaces when I am kneading, rolling and laying out the pasta to make ravioli's etc. No point wasting the good stuff on those jobs.
Every batch of dough can be different so you may need to adjust some of your ingredients slightly to get a nice silky dough. If your dough hasn't got enough moisture when you are mixing, add a little more olive oil. If the dough ends up too wet add a little bit more 00 flour.
When you first break off your dough to start the rolling process, its a good idea to flatten out the piece on a work surface just using your hand. Get it as flat as you can by pushing it down, and then start rolling it in the machine. If you don't do this you will find the machine just won't take a thick chunk of dough.