As I mentioned in my last post, a group of girlfriends from work have recently started a tradition of pasta nights.
Despite owning the pasta attachments for my Kitchenaid mixer for several years, we have rarely used them. I never appreciated how easy and simple it really is to make fresh pasta. Or how fun it is to make with a group of friends.
Now there is no going back...
Makes approximately 2 pounds of pasta, enough to serve 6 to 8
600 g flour
Add the flour and eggs to the bowl of a stand mixer and mix together with the paddle or dough hook attachment until well mixed. The dough will be very crumbly and dry.
With the dough hook, knead the dough for about three minutes, until the dough is very smooth. The dough should not feel sticky and should still be on the dry side. If the dough is too wet, it will tear apart when rolled. Add a little flour or water as required to get the right consistency.
Most recipes recommend wrapping the dough in plastic wrap and allowing it to rest in the refrigerator for one hour. I am too impatient (and typically too hungry) for this step.
Cut the dough into four pieces. One piece at a time, mould into a rough flat rectangle. Pass the piece through the pasta roller attachment on the widest setting, setting #1. Fold the dough in half or thirds and pass it through again. Fold and pass it through one more time.
Continue passing the dough through the machine, reducing the setting each time, until you have reached the desired thickness. On my roller attachment, setting #3 produces thick, chunky pasta and setting #4 is perfect for fettuccine and spaghetti.
The flat sheets can be used to make lasagne or manicotti-style stuffed rolls. If you wish to make fettuccine or spaghetti, use the pasta cutter attachment to cut the sheets into the desired shape.
Dust the pasta lightly with flour to keep it from sticking. Drape the pasta over a suspended rolling pin or pasta drying rack until ready to cook. If you do not have a drying rack, a coat hanger works really well!
Cook the pasta in salted, boiling water until el dente. Serve hot with your favourite pasta sauce and garnishes.