Making fresh pasta is much easier and less time-consuming than most people think, it’s fun, and the taste and texture of fresh homemade pasta are wonderful!
For the basic pasta dough, I start with
1 cup semolina flour + more for dusting
1 cup bread flour
1 pinch salt
I mix the ingredients together to form firm, non-sticky dough. Depending on how dry the flour is, and on the temperature and humidity in the kitchen, you may want to add semolina if the dough is too soft, or a little water if the dough is too dry and doesn’t come together.
I then knead the dough on a surface dusted with semolina for about 5 minutes, wrap it in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes to rest. I then roll it out with my pasta machine (can be done with a rolling pin, but pasta machine makes rolling out very thin pasta easier and more fun), cut to desired shapes, and cook immediately, or dust with more semolina and freeze in freezer bags for the future. Fresh pasta freezes very well. When you need it, drop it in salted boiling water – no need to defrost – and it’s ready in 2-3 minutes.
Pasta dough is very forgiving, and takes modifications well. It can be done with all bread flour, with water in place of eggs, with only egg yolks for a richer pasta. Recently I’ve been making colored pasta, replacing one or two eggs in the basic recipe with beet puree, pumpkin puree, and chlorophyll made from spinach (one at a time, not all at once!). I especially liked how if you roll two pasta sheets in different colors, then roll them together, you get a pasta that’s red on one side and green on the other. Kids must love this!