Making pasta from scratch is not difficult, but it is somewhat time-intensive. There is certainly a sense of satisfaction you can derive from making pasta. In addition, homemade pasta is somewhat more nutritious than pre-made dry pasta because it contains eggs. This recipe can be prepared either by hand-mixing or by using a food processor.
Ingredients 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus additional for kneading 3 large eggs 1 teaspoon water 1 teaspoon olive oil 1 teaspoon salt
Food processor: Place all ingredients except for additional flour in food processor. Process until mixture just forms a ball (do not over-process). Hand mixing: Blend together all dry ingredients in a large bowl, and form a well in the center. Beat together the wet ingredients and pour into the well. Work the ingredients lightly with a fork or your hands until it forms a mass. Don't worry if there is a bit of leftover flour in the bowl - do not overwork.
Turn out the ball from the food processor or bowl onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead for about 7 or 8 minutes, incorporating a little extra flour from time to time so as to keep it from sticking. Knead it until it is smooth, elastic, and no longer sticks.
Pasta machine: Divide dough into four pieces. Take one quarter and cover remainders separately in plastic so as to keep them from drying out. Set pasta machine rollers on widest setting, flatten portion of dough into a rectangle and feed through rollers 8 or 9 times, folding rectangle in half each time and then feeding through the rollers again. Sprinkle with flour as necessary to keep from sticking. Set machine rollers to next narrowest setting and feed dough through several more times, without folding. Keep setting machine rollers narrower and narrower until the narrowest setting is reached. Hang sheets over a dowel, or let them hang off edge of counter to dry somewhat. Roll remaining portions in same manner. Cut as desired when still somewhat soft.
Hand-rolling: This is a bit trickier! Divide the dough into four pieces, cover three with plastic wrap. Take piece of dough and roll with large rolling pin until it's about 1/8 inch thick, then fold and reroll to 1/8 inch thick again, and repeat 8 or 9 times. Add a sprinkle of flour as necessary to keep from sticking. Roll out the dough to a rectangle, and continue rolling until the dough is thin enough to see your hand through, but not so thin as to tear when lifted (about 1/16th of an inch or so). Hang to dry as above. Cut as desired.
Cooking: No matter what shape you cut this pasta, it will not require much cooking - perhaps 3 to 4 minutes at most. Do not overcook! Can be used to make thin or thick noodles or ravioli (fill as desired). Bon appetit!
Can be made ahead by one day and refrigerated (well wrapped) Can be used to make a variety of pasta shapes - particularly good for wide noodles or ravioli
Do not use self-rising flour; do not use whole-wheat flour.