Since buying our first pasta machine at a garage sale in Santa Barbara in 1996, we’ve only eaten dry pasta a handful of times. It’s easy and so much better.
Be sure to buy an old Italian machine, these days even the Italian brands are made in China of lightweight materials. The old ones are pleasant to touch. Store in the box and never use water to clean it!
be sure to put a big pot of water on to boil before starting, because that takes as long as making the dough!
- put in a bowl: 1 cup flour, 1 egg, 1 tsp olive oil, and a large pinch of salt. (you can actually add as many eggs as you like for more eggy flavour.)
- using your hands, mix until the wet and dry are evenly distrubted. the result will be sort of flaky and clumpy, but evenly so.
- add a tiny bit of water and squeeze the mixture together until it all sticks together.
- set up a broomstick or some other vertical thing on which you can hang the cut dough until you are ready to cook it.
- if you have a pasta machine, take a small piece of the dough (about 1/8 of it) and roll it through the widest setting of the rollers. tighten the rollers and go again, until you have reached desired thinness. i prefer dough done at 5 or 6. if the dough tears in the rollers, smash it up and try again. flouring between rollings will prevent the tearing which happens because the dough is too sticky to go through cleanly. you can use the machines cutters or cut by hand with a knife.
- you do not need a pasta machine. you can roll the dough by hand with a rolling pin and cut it with a knife. don’t worry about having uneven strips, they will look beautiful!
- use lots of water and boil the pasta for only a few minutes. you can tell it’s done when the color changes from yellow to white.
- We never use the machines cutters, because this results in many tiny messy scraps. Instead, after rolling we either cut the pasta with a knife or tear it by hand.
some of our favorite simple sauces
- butter, fresh sliced tomatoes, crunchy maldon sea salt
- butter, fresh flat leaf parsley, fresh mint, toasted walnuts (bake about 10 min until they are fragrant)
- browned butter (cooked until it gives off a toasty smell and turns slightly brown) with a pinch of clove, toasted fresh sage leaves (bake in the oven about 5 minutes until they become brittle)