Homemade pasta

6 servings Prep: 2 hrs, Cooking: 15 mins

By Food24 September 22 2010
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Ingredients (4)

500 g flour — cake
5 eggs — large
salt
fresh basil
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Method:

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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