How to make pasta
- 2 cups plain flourall purpose flourX
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
1 Pile the flour onto the bench, make a well in the centre and sprinkle in the salt. Break in the eggs.
2 Using a fork, begin to incorporate the flour into the eggs. Try and keep a wall of flour all the way around the eggs or they run away.
3 When you have a soft lumpy mixture, discard the fork and use your hands, turning the mixture over in the flour, kneading gently.
4 When the mixture has become one messy lump, remove from the remaining flour and set aside. Gather the remaining flour and pass through a sieve. You will have crumbly bits of dough in the sieve that can be kneaded into the dough. The sifted flour can be used to dust the bench and the dough as you knead.
5 Knead the dough thoroughly, dusting the bench and the dough lightly with flour whenever it becomes tacky. The dough must become smooth, satiny and elastic, taking 5-10 minutes depending on your kneading skills. If you have time, let the dough rest in the fridge for 1/2 an hour (don't leave it overnight as it goes a very funny colour).
6 Cut the dough into pieces about the size of an egg. Flour the bench and flatten the ball of dough into a disk with the rolling pin. Hold the edge of the dough nearest to you with the flat of one hand, and use the rolling pin to push the dough away from you, using small rolling stretches. Spin the dough around and roll in the opposite direction. Aim to make a large sheet of dough not a strip, as it will be easier to work with.
7 The combination of stretching and rolling is most effective for growing the dough. Try hanging half the piece of dough off the edge of the bench, and holding it in place with your hip bone, freeing both your hands to use the rolling pin to push and roll the dough away from you. Ordinary rolling will not grow the dough as it is very elastic (or should be after all that kneading). Using one end of the rolling pin is very effective for working a particular section. Roll each piece of dough into a large sheet – don't worry about ragged edges or the odd little crease. Dust each sheet with a little flour and keep flour underneath at all times so it doesn't stick to the bench.
8 Fold the dough over loosely on itself several times so it is folded into one long strip. Cut the strip into ribbons then unfold the ribbons, keeping them as flat as possible so they can't stick together.
Pasta trebles in volume as it cooks, so allow plenty of water.
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