Yesterday I made mention of having some homemade dried pappardelle that was leftover from a cooking class I taught awhile back. Homemade pasta just tastes better. It has a better mouth -feel and the flavoring options are as limited as your imagination and sauce combinations. Today I thought I would share with you my go -to recipe for a basic egg pasta. This dough can be made in either a food processor or stand mixer. I use a pasta machine with a motor to roll out the dough to the desired thickness.
Egg Noodle Dough
Makes 1 pound
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 3-5 tbl water
Combine all the flour, eggs, salt and olive oil in the food processor with 3 tbl of water and process with a pulsing mixture until the dough forms small moist pellets that stick together when squeezed. If the mixture is too dry, add more water and pulse again. Alternatively, you can place all of the ingredients, including 3 tbl of water, into a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and mix on low to medium speed until the dough comes together. As with the food processor, if the dough is too dry add a bit more water and continue mixing. I actually prefer the dough made in stand mixer as I find it yields a more tender product.
Press the dough together into a flat cake, wrap in plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator 15 – 30 minutes before rolling. If you can, let it rest the 30 minutes. I find it is easier to work with if it rests for 30 minutes.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and divide the dough into 3 or 4 pieces for easier handling. Working with one piece at a time (cover the rest of the dough and return to the refrigerator), knead the dough briefly by hand, adding all-purpose flour to keep if from sticking to the board. Flatten the dough into a rectangle.
Place the dough in the pasta machine set on the widest setting (#1 on mine.) Run the dough through the machine, fold it in half, dust with flour and run through again. Continue rolling, folding, dusting and re-rolling until the dough comes out smooth – 6 to 10 times. The dough will not be folded after this setting. Set the pasta machine for the next thinner setting and put the sheet through again. Continue to dust with flour, reduce the thickness and re-roll until you reach the desired thickness.
A word on thickness. I roll dough that is to be turned into ravioli through the 6 mark on my machine. Dough that will be turned into pappardelle is rolled to through the 7 mark. I also have spaghetti and fettucine cutters and I generally roll the dough for those pastas through 7 before putting them through the cutter.
This is a very versatile dough that works for both cut and stuffed pasta. It can be flavored with the herb of your choice. You can add 4 tbl of tomato paste can be for tomato flavored pasta. To make a spinach pasta just add 2 cups of washed and drained spinach leaves and omit the water (unless the pasta is too dry).
You’ll notice I do not use Semolina flour in my dough recipe. The semolina that is locally available is not, to my taste, fine enough to be used in the pasta dough. It tends to impart a gritty mouth feel to the pasta that I find less than desirable. I do, however, use it to make my deep dish pizza dough!
And last night’s leftover pasta – George thought I had made it from scratch yesterday!