How To Make Pasta Dough From Scratch. A perfect family activity to do on a snowy cold winter day. After the dough is done, the world of pasta shapes is your oyster!
The first day of snow always takes me unprepared. I live in denial until the morning I look out the window and the familiar view of our backyard has changed overnight into an indistinct, fluffy, blanket of snow.
I immediately think of all the people that have to start their day, going to school, or to work or any other activity. How do they react? Do they crawl back in bed or go out anyways? They probably have to keep going. My husband has to. Maybe because they were born here and they've seen this "thing" happen year after year, they built up a shield, and even an immune system that I do not have. My first thought is to lock myself in the house and go out only when Loreto will take me to the airport to go back home.
This mindset eventually changes and I do go out a bit, all bundled up so I can face the cold outside.
But for today, I'll stay home and make homemade pasta from scratch.
Memories of pasta dough making
There is something so comforting and "homey" in making pasta dough from scratch. I get flashbacks of my great grandma, grandma, mom, and aunts making their own pasta. I see their hand movements, the soft look in their eyes, the love that emanates from the simple task of blending flour and eggs.
How much flour and how many eggs?
The ratio has always been, in my family, for generations, 1 egg to 100 g of flour. A pinch of salt is optional. A few drops of water are necessary if your eggs are on the smaller side and you feel the dough is too dry. Always the whole eggs and not only the yolks. The women in my life were very practical, they wouldn't want to deal with leftover egg whites just for the sake of a brighter yellow pasta dough. What about the olive oil, you're asking? I know somebody adds it, however not in my family.
What type of flour to use?
As for the flour to use, I use a blend of flour type 00 and semolina. The percentage depends on what I am making. Usually, I use only 00 flour when I'm making ravioli or lasagna sheets. If I want a more rustic feel, I will add a percentage of semolina flour (semola rimacinata, in Italian). For example, to make fettuccine or spaghetti. The semolina gives a coarser texture particularly suitable to let the sauce stick to your noodles without sliding down.
I use a wooden surface (called spianatoia in Italian) like my mom and nonna would do. Working on a rough surface gives a better consistency to the dough.
I like to use my hands to "feel" the dough, if it is sufficiently ductile and soft. It doesn't have to be dry, otherwise it will tear when stretching. You can use a food processor or stamd mixer fitted with the dough hook to speed things up.
Work it, work it, work it
The time you work the dough and the energy you put into it, develop the gluten, which is fundamental for the final consistency of the pasta.
Work it for no less than 5 minutes. You have to give it elasticity, with the warmth of the hands and kneading properly with the necessary force. Push it forward with the palm, then fold it and turn it, without tearing it. Repeat the movement several times, until smooth "as a baby's bottom".
Now it's time for the dough to rest. Thirty (30) minutes is the necessary time for the different components of the dough to be tied together. Air is the enemy of pasta dough, in every phase of the process. While resting, it must be wrapped in plastic, or covered with a wet towel, or left under a bowl. That's it, your dough is done!
See you in the next posts, when we are going to roll out the dough and make some pasta sheets.
Today, I am going to curl under a warm blanket and forget about the snow outside.
Ciao for now!Print
- 2 large eggs, organic free-range, at room temperature
- 140 g flour type 00
- 60 g semolina flour
- a few drops of water, if needed
- On a wood surface (or in a large bowl), sift the flours, make a well in the middle, and crack the eggs into the well.
- Beat the eggs with a fork or with your hands and slowly start to pull the flour into the eggs. Mix till dough starts to form.
- Keep kneading the dough over onto itself, turning and folding, using some good force to get that dough nice and smooth. If needed, add a few drops of water. The texture should be soft and the dough velvety to the touch, and elastic. The dough should be worked at least 5-10 minutes to develop the gluten which is fundamental for the final consistency of the pasta.
- Shape the dough into a ball. Cover in plastic or with a wet towel and let rest for 30 minutes.
The blend of 00 flour and semolina flour is completely up to you. You can use only flour type 00, which has a higher gluten content and creates a smooth dough or mix it with semolina flour up to 50% which gives a coarser texture, ideal for long pasta shapes such as fettuccine or spaghetti.
The prep time includes the 30-minute resting time.
- Prep Time: 45 minutes
- Category: How To
- Method: Kneading
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: homemade, pasta, italian, from scratch, eggs, flour, handmade
I love baking and kneading dough because it takes me to a happy place in my soul.