Homemade pasta is a breeze. There are just 2 things to remember; ‘many hands make light work’ and ‘go hard or go home’. Invite friends over and put them to work. Get a production line happening, hand them a glass of red for their troubles and you’ll be laughing. After having the right ratio of flour to eggs (which you will after you read this recipe), the next most important step is in the kneading and working of the dough. You need to be prepared to give it some good elbow grease and body heat to develop the gluten, as this is what makes the end product springy and al dente. You want the texture of the dough to be silky smooth. You’ll soon see that it really isn’t hard at all to have perfectly al dente, fresh, home made pasta everytime you feel the urge for a bit of I-talian.
In making great pasta, it’s also important to use Tipo 00 flour. This refers to how finely the pasta is milled, and Tipo 00 is the finest durum wheat flour available. Containing high levels of gluten and protein, it’s perfect for pasta making (and pizza too). You can get it at most supermarkets these days.
As for the accompanying sauce or flavours, the key is; less is best. After you’ve gone to the effort of making fresh pasta, you want it to be the hero, and the additional flavours to complement, not overpower. My favourite pasta is fat pappardelle because it’s big enough that there’s still loads of texture if cooked to perfection. My favourite accompaniments are chorizo for its saltiness, spiciness and meatiness, basil for its beautiful flavour and the colour it adds to the dish, lemon for its freshness and the way it makes everything taste that little bit healthier, mozzarella for its subtlety, parmesan for its savouriness and bite, and olive oil – but only the best.