If you’ve been following the blog for a while, odds are you know by now that I really, and I mean REALLY love pasta. If you’re new, welcome!
I’ve made fresh pasta on this blog before, but that was ravioli, which is a whole different monster to tackle. I know a lot of people think that ravioli are harder than noodles, I mean stuffed pasta?! But in my opinion, it’s much easier to impress people with ravioli. Why? Because there’s always some sort of tasty filling to cover up if you pasta dough isn’t the best, like… say… a runny egg yolk? But when you’re making plain pasta from scratch? It’s all about the noodle and if it isn’t up to par? Well, might as well have saved yourself an hour and just used the boxed stuff.
It has taken me quite a few tries to get the perfect pasta dough recipe, but finally I have done it. While I didn’t record all my attempts here, I would say I’ve gone through about 6 trials before finally getting here.
And let me tell you, I am so happy that I did. This pasta is so good it’s almost hard to believe it’s homemade. The trick is less about the actual recipe, and more about the process.
So here are a few tips I’ve learned while attempting pasta:
- Olive oil makes a difference: I have to assume it’s something about the fat content, but using a little olive oil as well as egg yolks (as opposed to all full eggs) makes this dough easier to roll. And when you’re doing it all by hand and without a pasta roller as I was, this makes a huge difference.
- When incorporating the flour to the eggs, do it V-E-R-Y S-L-O-W-L-Y: I cannot STRESS this part enough; it might be the most important part of making homemade pasta. If you add too much flour at once, it makes the dough inconsistently textured. And what does that mean? Harder to knead, and harder to roll. Do yourself a favor and have some patience when mixing the eggs and flour.
- Make sure to let the dough rest at room temperature for at least half an hour: I know, you’re so excited to be making pasta that you just want to jump ahead and start rolling. But letting the dough sit allows it to soften even more, which is imperative if you’re rolling it by hand. Otherwise, you’ll end up with dough that you roll out and keeps pulling back to a smaller shape.
- Work in small batches when you’re rolling: If you try to roll out all the dough at once, it will take you forever to get it as thin as it needs to be. Instead, work in small batches to make your life easier.
Perfect pasta takes patience and practice. But once you get it down? Oh, it is so worth it.
For the pappardelle::
2 cups all purpose flour
6 egg yolks
1 tablespoon olive oil
pinch of salt
For the roasted tomato sauce::
1 red onion, sliced
8 roma tomatoes, halved with cores and seeds removed
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon basil
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
salt and pepper, to taste
½ cup parmesan, grated
Aroma Pasta Cooker
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
1. Start by making the pasta dough; on a clean work surface, place all of the flour. Form it into a circle with a large hole in the middle. The center of the flour ring is where you will be mixing the eggs and incorporating the flour. Make this hole bigger than you think while making sure there are no breaks in the ring.
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, egg yolks, olive oil, and salt. You don’t need to beat them for too long, just enough to make sure the yolks are broken up and the ingredients are all incorporated.
3. Pour the egg mixture into the center of the flour ring being careful to not break the edges.
4. Use a fork to whisk the eggs while very slowly starting to pull flour from the inside edges of the ring and mix it into the eggs fully.
5. Continue to very slowly and gradually pull flour into the egg mixture. Patience is key here, as you want it to be added evenly and avoid large chunks.
6. Once most of the flour is incorporated, you can start mixing the dough with your hands to add the rest, doing your best to add it evenly.
7. Add more flour to your work surface and begin kneading the dough. You want to be kneading it for 7-10 minutes until it is really nice and silky. It helps to set a timer so that you know exactly how long you have been doing it, and it’s always better to over-knead than under. I’ve found the best way to knead is by lifting and rolling the dough back on itself. Remember the goal is to slowly get the inside of the dough back on itself, and to be gentle not to tear, just fold and roll.
8. After kneading for 7-10 minutes when you are left with a silky dough, form it into a ball and wrap in cling wrap. Let sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes. Letting it sit will make the dough much softer and easier to work with.
9. While the pasta dough is resting, make the sauce. Preheat your oven to 400℉.
10. Place the sliced red onion, halved tomatoes, adn minced garlic onto a sheet pan.
11. Drizzle with half of the olive oil, then sprinkle with the oregano, basil, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper to taste.
12. Bake in the preheated oven until tender and lightly golden, about 20 minutes.
13. Remove from the oven and let cool.
14. Once cool enough to handle, transfer the vegetables to a food processor. Add the remaining oil and pulse until a chunky sauce but not fully liquid. Transfer to a large skillet or multicooker with Sauté-Then-Simmer STS™ (but kept off) and set aside.
15. After the pasta dough has sat for at least 30 minutes, cut the ball into 8 wedges.
16. Take one of the wedges and form it into a square shape, then place onto a lightly floured work surface.
17. Use a rolling pinto roll the dough into a long rectangle; if the edges are round that’s fine! This is rustic pasta so it does not need to be perfect.
18. Keep rolling until the dough is very thin; probably thinner than you would think. A good test is to hold you hands behind it; you want to see your fingers slightly through the dough.
19. Cut the rolled dough into long, thick noodles. A good trick for this is to roll the dough from one short side to the other and cut into strips this way. Unravel the noodles, dust lightly with flour and set aside on a plate.
20. Repeat rolling and cutting the pasta with the rest of the dough.
21. Once all of the dough has been been made into noodles, fill the pasta cooker to the MAX line with water. Set it for Medium Pasta.
22. While waiting for the water in the pasta cooker to boil, start heating the sauce in the skillet over medium heat, or if using a multicooker set for Sauté-Then-Simmer STS™.
23. Once the water is boiling, add the pasta. Cook for 3 minutes.
24. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and set aside. Then, drain the pasta.
25. Immediately add the drained pasta to the sauce along with the reserved pasta water. Use tongs to gently toss the pasta with the sauce so it is fully coated.
26. Remove from heat and add in the parmesan cheese, again gently tossing with the tongs.
27. Serve immediately topped with fresh basil and any additional parmesan.
Recipe inspiration from Tasting Table