The inspiration for it all began on our trip to the Amalfi Coast this spring, where Barclay and I became wholeheartedly convinced that we needed more 100%-from-scratch Italian food happening here at home in our little kitchen. Stat. So Barclay set his sights on perfecting homemade mozzarella this spring (more on that to come) and I came home ready to dive into the world of homemade pastas, gnocchis, and breads of all kinds. I even broke my minimalist no-new-kitchen-appliances-while-we’re-in-Europe rule and brought home an adorable little traditional pasta maker and wooden drying rack to make our pasta dreams come true.
First off, the fresh pasta dough itself is a breeze to make. If you happen to own a food processor, the dough can be prepped in less than 5 minutes. (Or you can make it by hand or in a stand mixer in less than 15 minutes.) The process of rolling out the noodles is also easier than I expected, especially once I got the hang of using my little pasta maker. (I’ve included instructions below as well for how to roll out pasta using a stand mixer or a rolling pin by hand.) I’ve also enjoyed experimenting with the various different pasta flours and discovering which ones I like best for different occasions. (Short answer — I prefer “00” flour most of the time, but occasionally mix it with semolina for heartier shapes or sauces.) Mostly, though, we’ve just enjoyed eating fresh pasta. It has such a delicious, fresh, chewy, unmistakable bite to it. And it has instantly kicked some of our favorite pasta recipes up a mega notch. (Here’s lookin’ at you, cacio e pepe!)
Also fun? Inviting a group of girlfriends over on a Friday night to share a bottle of rosé as we roll out a batch of homemade pasta together. And having leftover linigune in the fridge to pull out for a quick dinner on a busy weeknight. And surprising friends and neighbors with a tupperware full of cute little fresh pasta nests as gifts. And being “that home” that now has fresh pappardelle casually draped and drying by our sunny living room window.
So to continue with Italian Week here on the blog today, I am sharing everything I’ve learned so far about the art of making some seriously delicious homemade pasta. I’ve tried to include lots of different methods and options to work with whatever you have in your kitchen. So please poke around and find whatever method works best for you — and report back if you give homemade pasta a try! I would love to hear how it goes.
Flour: I really love to make my homemade pasta with “00” flour, which yields the silkiest pasta. But if I am making a sauce that is a bit more hearty, I will use half “00” and half semolina flour, which makes the pasta a bit more sturdy and helps the sauce to cling to the pasta better. That said, any of these three flours (or a combination of them) will work with this recipe:
Semolina flour: A heartier flour, which can help the pasta cling better to the sauce. (Semolina is also my favorite flour to sprinkle on the cutting board and pasta, while you are in the process of rolling out the dough.)
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