There are a million pasta dough recipes out there, but this one is easy enough for novices and savory enough for gourmets. Courtesy of Gimme Some Oven.
4 large eggs
1.25 cups semolina flour
1.25 cups 00 flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
HOW TO MAKE PASTA IN A STAND MIXER
Just combine all of your ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Then using the dough hook, mix and knead the dough for 8-10 minutes on low speed until it is smooth and elastic. (If the dough seems wet or sticky, just add in some extra flour. You want it to be pretty dry.) Form the dough into a ball with your hands, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and let the dough rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 day.
HOW TO MAKE PASTA BY HAND
Place the flour in a mound on a large cutting board. Then use your fingers or a spoon to create a good-sized well in the middle of the flour mound (kind of like a volcano). Add the eggs in the center of the well. Sprinkle the salt and drizzle the olive oil on top of the eggs. Use a fork to begin whisking the eggs. Then once they are combined, begin gradually whisking some of the surrounding flour into the egg mixture, adding more and more until the egg mixture is nice and thick. (If some eggs accidentally spill out, no worries, just use your hands or a bench scraper to pull them back in.) Then use your hands to fold the rest of the dough all together until combined. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic, sprinkling some extra flour on the cutting board if needed to prevent sticking or if the dough seems too wet or sticky. (You want the dough to be pretty dry.) Form the dough into a ball with your hands, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and let the dough rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 day.
ROLL AND CUT PASTA
Once the dough has rested for 30 minutes and is ready to go, remove it from the plastic wrap and transfer it again to a cutting board. Use a knife to cut the dough into four equal wedges (like you’re slicing a pie), then set one wedge aside and immediately wrap the remaining three in the plastic wrap again to prevent them from drying out.
Sprinkle the cutting board (or a large baking sheet) generously with flour, and set aside.
Using your hands, shape the dough wedge into a oval-shaped flat disc. Feed the dough through the pasta maker on the widest setting. (On my pasta maker, this is setting number 1.) Once the sheet comes out, fold it into thirds, similar to how you would fold a piece of paper to fit in an envelope. Feed it through the rollers 2 or 3 more times, still on the widest setting. Then continue to feed the dough through the rollers as you gradually reduce the settings, one pass at a time, until the pasta reaches your desired thickness. (I like setting 6 on my pasta maker.) Whenever the dough starts to get a bit sticky as you pass it through the rollers, just pause and drape the dough onto the floured cutting board to re-flour, being sure to coat both sides of the dough. Also, if your dough sheet starts to get too long to handle, just cut it in half with a knife.
Once your dough sheet is ready to go, sprinkle it with flour once more. Then connect the cutter attachment to your pasta maker (and transfer the handle to the cutter attachment, if need be). Feed the sheet through the attachment to create your desired shape of pasta. Then transfer the cut pasta to a drying rack, or swirl it into little pasta “nests” and lay them on a floured surface to dry for 30 minutes. Repeat with the remaining pasta dough.
HOW TO COOK FRESH PASTA
To cook fresh pasta, bring a large stockpot of generously-salted water to a rolling boil over high heat. Add in the fresh pasta, and then immediately begin to stir it gently so that the noodles do not stick together. Continue to cook until the pasta is al dente. (Keep a close eye on it — fresh pasta cooks much faster than dried pasta!) Then strain the fresh pasta and use immediately.
The cooking time for fresh pasta will depend entirely upon the thickness of the pasta, so be sure to check it regularly to see when it reaches the perfect al dente texture. When I roll pasta to setting 6 on my pasta maker, it generally takes about 90 seconds to cook.
HOW TO STORE FRESH PASTA
Be sure to let the pasta air out on a drying rack or on a baking sheet for at least 30 minutes (or up to 2 hours). Transfer to an airtight container and either refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 2 weeks. To use frozen fresh pasta, transfer it to the refrigerator to thaw for at least 4-6 hours, then cook as usual.