Homemade Pasta: Easy Like Sunday Morning
Growing up, weekend mornings followed a relatively similar pattern. Saturday mornings I woke up absurdly early, gorged on cereal, and watched the finest cartoons broadcast TV had to offer (am I the only person that ever watched Fillmore!?). Elementary/middle school me was not interested in what the Sunday morning televangelists and political talking heads had to say (and I guess neither was high school/college me), and usually my dad would play some sort of classical music/opera until lunch rolled around.
I have fond memories of the few times a year when we would make pasta on a Sunday morning and blast Italian opera throughout the house, you know, to get the full authentic experience. Last year I had the urge to make pasta once again, and struggled greatly to make anything other than thick lasagna noodles with just a rolling pin. This was partly because I had a terrible rolling pin at the time, but also because it’s just difficult to roll out a pasta sheet so thin like that (not impossible, just difficult).
So a few months ago my desire for homemade pasta compelled me to buy a pasta machine. I’ve used it several times since and for less than $30, I think it’s better than the 3/5 stars it has on Amazon. Yesterday I came across a recipe for sourdough pasta that piqued my interest, so I decided to give it a whirl when I got home from work.
Pasta involves a very simple recipe, usually an equal ratio of cups of flour to eggs (ie 1 cup flour, 1 egg) with perhaps a bit of olive oil and water to bring it all together. This recipe was identical, but also incorporated 1/4 cup of sourdough (fed or unfed) starter. Opera turned up? Ok, now we’re ready.
Measure out 2 cups of flour into a large bowl (I used 1 1/2 C AP and 1/2 cup semolina to give it some texture) and push it to the sides to create a well in the middle. Separately, beat together two eggs with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Optional: If you have sourdough starter you can also add 1/4 cup to the egg/oil mixture. If you don’t/don’t want to that’s fine, follow the rest of the recipe just the same.
Add your liquid mixture to the bowl and with a fork gradually mix together. You’ll find that if you keep mixing in the center the flour will get drawn in from the edges.
Eventually you’ll have to knead by hand and water as necessary to combine all the flour. I ended up using about 3 tablespoons of water, but just judge for yourself what’s necessary.
Once you have a cohesive dough ball place it in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 30 minutes. We’ll call this Michigan pasta because the dough is maize (or at least looks that way with my poorly taken iPhone photo) and the bowl is blue.
While you wait set up your pasta rolling station. If you don’t have a pasta machine you can still use a rolling pin, just be prepared to get quite an arm workout. Because my kitchen table is too thick for the clamp on my pasta machine, I have to use the coffee table. I guess you could say it’s in the living room? But of course when you share 300 sq. feet it also functions as pretty much everything possible.
The idea of a pasta machine is that you gradually roll out your dough to the desired thickness while also kneading it further. You’ll want to keep some flour close by, as I found that as the dough folds onto itself it has a tendency to stick. I divided the dough into 8 pieces for this process. Here’s one sheet fully rolled out and ready for cutting.
When it comes to cutting the pasta, my machine has an attachment where I can just feed it through. If you’re doing this by hand though you can just roll up the dough and cut with a knife to your desired width.
In the end, this recipe makes about 1 pound of pasta which in the BakersAndBest measurement system is equivalent to 5 coat hangers worth. Here you can get a glimpse of the entirety of my kitchen (refrigerator directly to the left of the sink).
If you’d like to save the pasta for later let it dry for a few hours and place in some resealable blags. I had some for dinner with a super easy and delicious honey-balsamic chicken I found on Budget Bytes. I didn’t really taste any sourdough flavor in the pasta but it did give the it a nice texture that I hadn’t found with previous recipes.
- 1 1/2 cups AP flour
- 1/2 cup semolina flour
- 2 eggs
- 1 T olive oil
- Water (as needed)
- 1/4 cup sourdough starter (optional)
In a large bowl combine flour and push to edges to create a well in the middle. In a separate bowl beat together 2 eggs and olive oil. If using sourdough starter, mix in with liquid mixture.
Add liquids to the flour and mix together, gradually combining the flour. Mix until mostly combined, then knead by hand until all flour is incorporated. Add water as needed to combine ingredients. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
Divide dough into 8 equal pieces and roll each out to desired length using a pasta machine or rolling pin. If rolling by hand, roll up finished sheets and cut to desired length. Cook fresh or allow to dry (hanging on a rack/hook). Dried pasta will need to be cooked about 4 minutes to be ready.
Recipe adapted from Korena In The Kitchen