After having my kids home last week for a couple of days due to snow and again this week for vacation, I was looking for something for us to do together. I had planned on making purchased gnocchi with homemade marinara sauce but came up with the idea for fresh pasta. We had made it together once before and I wasn't too scarred by the experience (that or I had blocked it out).
A couple of suggestions to make this project doable. A pasta machine makes life much easier. I have the attachment for my Kitchen Aid stand mixer but a hand cranked machine works just as well and you could get the kids to crank it. I also make the dough by myself and let it rest BEFORE I call the kids to help. No reason to push the envelope but if you are feeling especially daring, you can have them help with the mixing. I used semolina flour which I found at Fairway Market but it can also be ordered online. You can also substitute all flour.
In the end, this turned out great. Fresh pasta tastes great and the whole family enjoyed it. There were just a few disagreements over whose turn it was to feed the pasta through the machine but overall it was a fun experience that I would make again with the kids.
- 2 cups all purpose four
- 2 cups semolina flour
- 3 tsp kosher salt
- 4 large eggs
- 3 tbs plus 1 tsp cold water (I used more)
- 2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
In a large bowl, stir together both flours and the salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, water and oil.
Make a well in the flour and add the egg mixture to it. Using a spoon, mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients until combined.
Lightly flour a work surface and turn the dough out onto it. Knead until smooth and elastic (like stiff Play-Doh) about 5 minutes. If the dough is too dry, add drops of water, a few at a time. If too wet, add flour, a big pinch at a time.
Cut the dough into thirds and flatten each piece into disk 1.2 inch thick. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest for 45 minutes at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator. If the dough has been chilled, bring it to room temperature (about 20 minutes) before rolling.
Using a rolling pn, roll the dough disk 1/4 inch thick. Adjust the rollers of the pasta machine to the widest setting. Run 1 piece of the dough through the rollers 3 times, folding the dough in half each time, and flouring it lightly if it begins to stick. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.
Adjust the rollers to the next setting and feed the dough through each progressively narrower setting until you have a long thin smooth sheet and the dough has run through the narrowest setting (I ran it through until setting 4 or 5 and then ran it through the spaghetti attachment). Dust lightly with flour. Leave at room temperature for up to 30 minutes.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Drain and toss with your favorite sauce.