For me, the difficult part of making pasta is the kneading process. Although there are those who will insist on kneading by hand and rolling by machine, I find the opposite easier. What normally takes many minutes of strenuous hand labor requires only seconds to accomplish with a food processor.
Fresh PastaPrint Recipe
- 2 cups (300g) all-purpose flour
- 3 eggs
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1½ teaspoons salt Butter or your favorite sauce, for serving
Place all the ingredients in a food processor and process until a smooth, soft dough forms, about 1 minute. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour, 1 teaspoon at a time. If the dough is too firm, add more water, ½ teaspoon at a time.
Remove the dough from the machine and divide in half. Shape each half into a rough square or rectangle. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or more. (If the dough is not to be used within 24 hours, freeze it and bring back to room temperature before proceeding.)
Dust the work surface and the dough lightly with flour and roll one of the squares of dough into a sheet as thin as possible, between 1/16 and 1/32 of an inch and about 16 x 18 inches, dusting and turning the dough so it does not stick to the surface. If the dough becomes too elastic to flatten or roll out, allow it to rest, covered with plastic wrap to prevent drying, for 3 to 5 minutes before continuing. (If you have the space, roll out both pieces of dough at the same time, alternating from one to the other as they build up tension.)
Cut into noodles: Lightly dust the surface of the dough to prevent sticking and fold the fully rolled-out dough in half, then in half again, always folding in the same direction. Using a large chef’s knife, cut crosswise to form noodles of a desired width (for extremely thin, delicate noodles, see “Stretching Noodles,” page 82). The noodles can be cooked at this point if desired; see step 5. (You can make the noodles ahead to this point. Allow the noodles to dry on a flat surface or draped over a drying rack for 15 to 30 minutes. They will still be flexible, but may begin to crack when folded. Place the noodles in plastic bags and freeze if not using within 24 hours. Frozen pasta does not have to be thawed before cooking.)
To cook the noodles, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Drop the noodles into the pot and cook until tender yet a bit chewy, 3 to 5 minutes. The drier the noodles are, the longer they will take to cook.
Drain the noodles and toss them with butter or one of your favorite sauces. Serve immediately.
If you have a pasta-rolling machine and are accustomed to using it, by all means do. I also encourage you to roll it by hand to see which method is easier for you.
Excerpted from Richard Grausman’s French Classics Made Easy (Workman, 2011)