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Homemade pasta

Recipe from: 22 September 2010

Ingredients 4
Servings 6
Time 2 hours


  • 500
    cake flour
  • 5
    large eggs
  • A very big pinch of finely ground salt
  • Bruised basil leaves (optional)


15 mins
Place the flour in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the middle.
Break the eggs into the well, add the salt and muddle the eggs with a fork to break them up.
Then, using the fork, begin to pull the flour into the egg mixture: start at the outer rim and pull the flour into the centre well of eggs.
At first it will form globs and clumps and won’t look like it will ever come together. 
You may eventually dump the fork and go over to manual… And if the eggs are on the small side and the mixture looks very dry, you may need to sprinkle a few drops of water (literally, just a few drops) over the mixture to get it to be the same consistency as, say, Prestic.
Now transfer the dough to a large wooden board.
The best way to knead this dough is to squash it with both hands and then stretch it away from you with one hand.
Then fold the dough over, give it a little twist and repeat the movements.
Keep doing this until the dough feels smooth and a little stretchy, like Play Dough.
When you’re happy with the texture of the dough, fashion it into a ball and wrap in cling film and leave it somewhere cool to rest for an hour or so.
When rested break the dough into pieces – the size of a small fist – and roll the pieces into smooth little balls.
Cover the balls with a slightly damp cloth.
Now, generously flour your clean kitchen counter and a rolling pin or a wine bottle.
Roll out your first ball – the thinner, the better. The best is 1 – 2 mm thickness.
And try to roll it into an oblong shape.
Now lightly flour the sheet of dough and roll it up, just like a Swiss roll.
Now, cut the roll into slices with your sharpest smooth-edged knife as broad or thin as you want: from slim linguini to plump fettuccini.
Shake each slice lightly so that it falls apart into long strands.
Hang the strands over something firm (and clean) to air-dry while you continue to roll out and cut up the rest of the balls.
When all the dough has been rolled and cut take about 4 strands at a time, wipe the excess flour off, and roll them around your finger to make loose little mounds of pasta.
Place the mounds on a tray and cover with a dry cloth or a mountain of bruised basil leaves to part with their aroma.
Now you should take a long break as the pasta can sit for hours like this. However, you can cook the pasta straight away – no need to dry it out at all.
Finally, to cook the pasta, bring a large pot of water to the boil and add salt to taste.
Drop the pasta into the pot (you may need to do this in batches) and watch them cook – they will lazily drift to the surface and that means they are ready.
It only takes 2 – 3 minutes to cook fresh pasta.
Drain the pasta (do not rinse), taste and season lightly then immediately coat with a sauce of your choice and serve.

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