Two ingredients, five minutes and a food processor and you've made your own pasta dough. All you need are pasta flour and eggs. It's easy to work out quantities, as well. 1 egg + 100g flour feeds 1-2 people and from then on, just double the quantities (see picture). Start with 100g flour the first time you make it, just to get the hang of rolling, which is much easier than it looks and best done using a pasta machine. Little kids love making pasta, which is basically playdough to them, so don't be a perfectionist about it. Let them make random shapes from a bit of dough while you make tagliatelle for lunch. It's a brilliant weekend project.
100g tipo 00 pasta flour
a pinch of salt
Dough: takes 10 minutes + 30 minutes to rest
1. Measure the flour into the bowl of your food processor and show the kids how to crack in the egg(s). Add a pinch of salt. Blitz for about a minute until mixed. It'll look like yellow breadcrumbs but when you remove the blade and scoop the dough together with your fingers, it'll start to form a ball.
2. Tip out onto a lightly floured surface, working in any loose crumbs and knead until smooth. No two eggs are the same size so if it seems too dry you can add a drop or two of olive oil, if it's too sticky, add a dusting of extra flour. Wrap the ball in cling film and leave for half an hour on the worktop (if you don't want to use it today, you can keep it in the fridge in cling film for up to 24 hours). After half an hour you're ready to start rolling.
Rolling: takes 10 minutes
Get a piece of dough about the size of a tennis ball (if you're making pasta with more than 100g flour then keep the rest in cling film so it doesn't dry out). Use a rolling pin to roll your ball of dough out into a rectangle about the same width as your pasta machine. Get a bag of flour handy for extra dusting, if needed.
Get your machine on its thickest setting and feed the dough through, dust with a little flour at any point if it seems a little dry. Now take the machine's setting down one notch and keep working through the levels from thickest to thinnest. Now fold the dough in half and repeat again, going down from thickest to thinnest. Your dough should be nice and smooth and elastic. If your sheets are getting too long to handle, just cut in half with a sharp knife.
Now you can either cut into lasagne sheets to fit your lasagne dish, or turn into tagliatelle by using the cutting attachment on your pasta machine. Dust your pasta lightly in flour or polenta if needed as you go, lay out on a tray and cover waiting sheets of pasta with a clean damp tea towel to prevent them drying out. To stop tagliatelle from sticking together you can hang it up on a clothes hangar until you're ready to cook it.
To make farfalle, cut long 3-4cm strips from your pasta sheets then use a sharp knife or a zigzag cutter to cut rectangles from the dough. Pinch in the middle to form bows then lay out in rows on a tray lightly dusted with polenta and air dry for 20 minutes before cooking.
Cooking: takes 5 minutes
Cook: Fresh pasta takes literally minutes to cook in salted simmering water - try it in our Italian-flag pasta salad or served with superfood pesto. Or make our quickfire lasagne with ragu or butternut squash.