How to Be Better Than Everyone: Homemade Pasta

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Pasta is my favorite food.  So much so that one of my best friends is convinced that it is the only thing my family eats.

 you don't even need a pasta roller, you can just roll it like a scroll, cut it and then hang it over your knife (see next pic)

you don't even need a pasta roller, you can just roll it like a scroll, cut it and then hang it over your knife (see next pic)

Can I come over for dinner? Are you having pasta?

The answer to both is always yes.  Because 1) my family does love pasta and I have inherited that gene and 2) because the beauty of pasta is that you can always just make a little more.

 let the double scrolls unroll and then consider whether or not you want to use this pasta as curtains. (you do)

let the double scrolls unroll and then consider whether or not you want to use this pasta as curtains. (you do)

I like your average, run of the mill, dried pasta just as much as the next girl.  But homemade pasta will help you love pasta even more (as if you needed that) AND it will help you exert your superiority over everyone you know.  It is a little known fact that if you make your pasta from scratch, you automatically become a few degrees better than everyone around you.  You get even more superiority if you share it, because then you become a generous domestic goddess (or god.)

Another pro tip:  Invite all your friends over and have them help you.  That's what I did.  We had a great time making it, and everyone was very impressed by my domestic abilities.  (The excitement wore off quickly when they discovered they didn't get to eat any.  Oops.)

I know this seems like making a good thing only slightly better by adding a lot of work but it isn't and you should just ignore whatever you have going on and make this pasta. And then maybe you should make one of these pestos to put on your pasta.  

I don't want to pressure anyone, but you should probably make a double batch and freeze half.  There's nothing more adult than having homemade freezer food - except maybe paying your own bills, but who is keeping track, anyway?

 pasta snuggles are in order.

pasta snuggles are in order.

Homemade pasta:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1-2 tablespoons water

Place the flour on a clean surface in a mountain, then hollow out the middle into a bowl-like shape. Crack the eggs into your flour bowl and mix them using a fork or small whisk.  The eggs will slowly mix with the flour.  Continue mixing until the eggs are mostly combined with the flour, then begin kneading with your hands. Knead until the dough is smooth and yellow, about 7 minutes. It should not be sticky or overly dry - add more flour or a teaspoon of water if you don't think it looks right. (follow your instincts, y'all.  pasta is very forgiving.) Wrap the dough in plastic and let it sit for 20-30 minutes, until it pops back into shape when poked.  (If you have a stand mixer, simply throw all your ingredient in the bowl and let it go, using the dough hook.  Scrape down the sides and the hook occasionally.)

Flour your surface and rip off a piece of dough about the size of a tennis ball.  Flatten slightly with you hands, then roll thin with a rolling pin (or a bottle of wine, no one is judging). You want an oval.  When it's as thin as you can get it (think about how fettuccine normally looks, or look at the pictures above), flour both sides liberally and roll the two shorter sides in towards themselves, like a scroll.  Cut the dough rolls into slices about the width of your pinky fingernail, then slip your knife under the slices and let the rolls fall over either side of the knife.  If they're a little sticky, use your fingers to unroll them the rest of the way. Add more flour and place the strips of pasta on a floured cookie sheet in a swirled bird's nest shape -  what you can hang on a chefs knife is about one serving of pasta. Repeat this process with the rest of your dough. 

To cook - boil in a large pot of salted water for about 3 minutes, then drain.

To freeze - place your cookie sheet of pasta birds nests in the freezer, covered with plastic wrap. Freeze until solid.  Once the nests are hard, you can put them in a larger plastic bag for more efficient storage. They'll last at least a month.  From frozen, the pasta will need to boil for about 7 minutes.

 trying to drive home the whole pasta curtains thing.  really.  someone try it.

trying to drive home the whole pasta curtains thing.  really.  someone try it.