Homemade pasta is much more exciting for a dinner party than the freeze-dried variety you get in supermarkets. If you don't have a pasta maker, then you can still make your own high-quality pasta that is close to the level you'd find in an Italian restaurant. As most restaurants make their own individual style of pasta, you should experiment with your own to create your unique style.
- Make your pasta dough by mixing together two cups of flour and a half teaspoon of salt. Now form a shallow well in the middle of the flour and pour in three large eggs plus a generous tablespoon of olive oil. After this, whisk the wet ingredients using a fork and gradually incorporate more and more of the flour from around the sides of the well as you proceed. Soon the dough will become too thick to work. At this stage place the dough out onto a work surface and knead it so that any remaining flour is incorporated. A smooth and moderately stiff ball of dough should result.
- Secondly, wrap the dough with cling film, but make sure that it is not too tight so that the dough can expand, if necessary. Allow it rest at room temperature for half an hour. If you want, you can store the wrapped dough in the fridge ready to use the following day, but offer it the initial resting period before cooling it.
- When you are ready to form the pasta, it is best to split the dough up into half a dozen smaller portions which will make it easier to work. Only proceed with one portion at a time. When working on the first one, leave the remaining ones wrapped up so that they don't dry out.
- Taking each portion, and in turn, dust the dough with plenty of flour. Next, flatten it into an approximately rectangular shape using your hands. After this, begin to roll the dough into a long, thin rectangle. Continue to dust liberally on the top and the bottom of the pasta sheet as you go. Try to roll the pasta as thinly as possible using a rolling pin. Remember that it will expand when cooked.
- When the pasta dough is as thin as you think you can make it without disintegrating, dust it with flour once more. Now fold the dough back and forth on itself to form a wide zig-zag that is flat against your work surface. This will allow you to cut the dough without it being squashed. Folding the pasta into a zig-zag instead of simply rolling it up into a tube also helps to form better-shaped strips. Cut it into narrow small stand-like sections using a sharp kitchen knife.
- Gently shake the cut strands of pasta and, again, offer them a dusting of flour. At this point, your pasta strips can be carefully placed into simmering water to cook. Fresh homemade pasta using this recipe will only take three minutes to cook perfectly.