If there is a season for homemade things, the holiday season is definitely it. It also happens to be a major food season, so why not put the two together? I first made fresh pasta in a cooking class with my former Girl Scout troop and I instantly fell in love with how simple it is. It takes a bit of time, but it only takes three common ingredients to make, which means that you won't be rushing all over buying this and that last minute. I posted this recipe back in June, and the original recipe is from Mario Batali, but I've added in some tips so your first try turns out better than mine.
- 3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- a bit of water for the side
- Mound 3 1/2 cups of the flour in the center of a large wooden cutting board. Make a well in the middle of the flour and add the eggs and olive oil. Using a fork, beat together the eggs and oil and begin to incorporate the flour, starting with the inner rim of the well. It may start to crumble, but just make sure all of the egg is incorporated into the flour.
- If the dough is especially crumbly, add some water in, but you don't want it too wet. At this point, start kneading the dough with both hands, using the palms of your hands.
- Once there is a cohesive mass, remove the dough from the board and scrape up and add any leftover bits. Continue kneading. The dough should be elastic and a little sticky. (If it isn't sticky, then add water.)
- Wrap the dough in plastic and allow to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature. You can use this time to clean up and reorganize a bit.
- Add in any extras (herbs, cheese, etc.) In the summer, I like to add in fresh, chopped basil from my garden for some flavor and color.
- You can now cut and shape the pasta into whatever shape you want, but try to get them all around the same size so they cook evenly. For bow-tie shaped pasta, roll the dough out as flat as you can get it and use a pizza cutter to slice the dough into strips, then cut them into smaller pieces and pinch the middle (to look like a bow-tie.) The edges will be a bit off, but that's how it shows that it's homemade.
- Boil water and cook as you would with normal pasta. Test it every now and then to see when it's ready, then drain and enjoy! It's thicker than normal pasta from a box so you won't need as big of a portion.