Homemade pasta and I have had a love hate relationship.
The first time I made it it came out beautifully.
The second time I was extremely pregnant and attempting to make homemade lasagna noodles. The afternoon ended with me going to the grocery store covered head to toe in flour to buy noodles because the lasagna HAD to be made and we couldn’t get the homemade version to cooperate. While at the store I also picked up ice cream. So, while covered in flour, in yoga pants, extremely pregnant, and holding ONLY lasagna noodles and ice cream, I ran in to my boss. That wasn’t awkward or anything.
Since that incident the pasta roller has mostly been in the closet. Recently I pulled it out to make my first batch of homemade pasta with duck eggs. Again it was a disaster and I think that is putting it kindly. What the hell was I doing wrong?
However, last week I was gifted with two dozen duck eggs. Albeit delicious fried or great for baking I so wanted to try my hand at pasta again. So the day after the humongous party I did what any sensible person would do- I made homemade bolognese sauce and homemade pasta.
Guess what? I couldn’t believe how easy it was. Maybe my wine to food ratio that afternoon helped me not stress out so much or maybe I just finally figured it out. Either way I am now convinced making homemade pasta is easy peasy.
The trick? Don’t force it. Trust it! The flour we are using is a bit on the spendy side so I was determined to not waste any (you need super fine “00” flour- don’t skimp on this). Big mistake. Let the dough take the flour it needs and the second it comes together enough to be able to kneed it get rid of the rest. It’s ok. Err on the side of too little flour. This is how much I threw away when I made this batch- a little more than 1/4 cup.
So what is the deal with the duck eggs? You are more than welcome to use chicken eggs but I have just had access lately to some duck eggs and had heard what great great pasta they make. The yolks in duck eggs are much bigger and tad richer. The final pasta is so yellow and when cooked has a more toothsome al dente texture. I am quite pleased.
I hope you make homemade pasta. If not come on over I’ll make another batch for you. Seriously. Just bring the wine.
Homemade Pasta (serves 4)
Adapted from about 6 different recipes
2 duck eggs (or three chicken eggs)
2 1/2 cups “00” flour
1 big pinch of salt
Mix the flour and salt together then place in a pile on the counter. Carefully make a well. Crack the eggs in to the well. Gently take a fork and start mixing the eggs. Use one hand to whisk and the other to carefully keep the well together. As you mix pull flour in from the sides. Slowly it will come together into a dough ball. As soon as the dough ball starts to form stop whisking and use your hands to kneed it. Once you have a kneedable ball remove the rest of the flour. Kneed on the counter for 4-6 minutes or until elastic and smooth. Allow to rest on the counter for at least an hour before rolling. Roll with a pasta roller and then cut into your desired shape (we did tagliatelle) making sure to add lots of flour to keep pieces from sticking. Carefully drop into a large pot of salted boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes. Serve immediately.