Ever since landing on the right recipe, I haven’t been able to stop making fresh pasta.
Think perfect pasta with a bite, in any shape and size you want, to go with ALL the sauces? It’s now a whole new game in our household, coming up with new dinner ideas.
This here is the base recipe you’ll ever need for making egg pasta of every shape and size. It’s the beginnings of:
- 240g (4 eggs, size 7)
- 420g plain flour (’00’ flour preferred)
- 1/2 tsp salt
Importantly it is the ratio of eggs to flour that holds the key to perfect pasta. I like working with a slightly wetter/softer dough but anything between 52% and 57% hydration is good for me.
Top tip: work out the weight of eggs, as the size of eggs may vary. I go with around 4 eggs so that I don’t have to waste any (I’m so mad with the number of little pottles containing half an egg at the back of the fridge!).
Using the calculator, I work out how much flour I need to achieve a 57% hydration:
Weight of eggs ÷ 57%
(60g x 4) ÷ 57% = 420g
With this equation, it means you can easily adjust your flour amount to suit how much eggs you have.
If you are flavouring/ colouring pasta (using natural ingredients of course), like squid ink, parsley, spinach or beetroot puree, you’ll need to subtract this weight from the eggs. That’s a whole new article though.
- Weigh eggs into a small bowl.
- Calculate the amount of flour required using the above equation, and weigh into a stand mixer bowl (or a clean surface if you are mixing and kneading by hand).
- Add eggs and salt to the flour. Using the dough hook, mix on medium speed until mixture is crumbly and bound loosely. Keep kneading for 10 minutes, till the surface is smooth and not sticky.
- Wrap tightly with food wrap and rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
- If you wanted to roll it out later, you can keep it in the fridge for up to 2 days. Bring it out to room temperature before rolling.
- Cut a quarter of the rested dough out, keeping the rest tightly wrapped up. Using your hands, shape the quarter dough into a rectangular shape. Have on hand extra flour for dusting.
- Using a pasta machine, set it to the widest setting (1) and roll out the dough.
- Fold it into thirds, and feed it through the sheet roller 2 more times, on the widest setting.
- Change to the next setting (thinner) and feed the dough through the machine, holding the other side flush against the rollers, to avoid the sheets getting bunched up. Continue to change the settings and feeding the sheet through once each till you get to setting 6.
- If the dough gets sticky, sprinkle flour over. I like to work with shorter pieces of dough to start with, to avoid having to deal with long sheets.
- For garganelli, farfelle and filled pasta shapes, you can use the sheets as per.
- For spaghetti and tagliatelle, change over to the cutter attachment for your pasta maker. Feed each sheet through the cutter rollers, sprinkling with flour before curling into nests. You can also dry the pasta on a drying rack. Repeat with the remaining pasta dough.
I often freeze nests of cut pasta in the freezer, which means there’s always a very quick dinner option on hand.
You can also add herbs or edible flowers in between sheets of dough to make beautiful intricate patterns. Not to mention the added flavours. Just roll your sheets to 7, lay out herbs and flowers, cover with another sheet and roll it out at setting 6.