Homemade Pasta Is Easier Than You Think

Let it dry on a professional drying rack. Or, you know, the back of a chair while the sauce cooks in the background.

It is, I promise. You do have to invest in a little equipment. Well, you don’t have to, but if you don’t, it will not be easier than you think. I’ll give you a simple recipe you won’t have to write down, that you can flavor with anything you can puree, and you can run with it.

You need:

2 eggs

flour

salt

olive oil

whatever you want to use for flavor, or nothing at all

a pasta roller

Now. About that pasta roller. I went for this one. It is a little more spendy than some of the others, but it comes with attachments for spaghetti and fettuccine, it’s all stainless steel, and it’s solid. You can buy them cheaper if you feel you must, but if the gears are plastic, you’re going to have to buy another one soon. I’m not sponsored, I just don’t care for plastic tools. You do you.

So. For my spinach and basil pasta, I cooked a skillet full of fresh basil and spinach in a generous amount of olive oils until it was as tiny as it could get. I smashed mine in a mortar and pestle, because my blender seemed to have disappeared. Use a blender or food processor if you have it. Put it in a bowl with two eggs and a bunch of flour. How much? Doesn’t matter. You’ll see that the process is more important. Now mix. It’s pasta, so you don’t need to be gentle. When your spoon fails you, take it out on the counter and knead until it’s smooth. It will pick up as much flour as it needs. When you’ve had enough of that, quit. Let it rest about half an hour.

Set your machine on the widest setting, and put it through. It will come out ratty and awful and you’ll think you did something wrong. You didn’t. Fold it more or less in half and pass it through again. It may look better, but don’t worry if it doesn’t. Just do it again. Might take three times. Then narrow the rollers according to the manufacturers instructions. Pass it through again. It’ll start to look smoother. Once you have something that looks like sheets of pasta, you can start doing just two passes on each setting.

The things I read said to go up to the thinnest setting for ravioli, but on this machine, it’s hard to do that. The 6 setting was plenty thin, even with the double layers on the edges. I used the same setting for the spinach and basil pasta, and it was good for me. The green lasagna noodles you see are also at a 6 on my machine. Worked out perfect.

The best part? They need minimal cooking when they’re this fresh. I didn’t boil these before I layered them into my lasagna. If you are having something that isn’t baked, you need to boil them, but only very briefly. A couple of minutes will do the job. Drain, throw ’em in some fresh sauce, or just a few veggies and good olive oil. Whatever floats your boat. Put it on a plate. Eat, slowly. Taste the work you put in and the flavor of the fresh spinach. It’s not so evenly colored as the store noodles, but that’s because it’s real veggies as flavor and not just dehydrated nonsense and artificial color. Real food. Share it with someone you care about enough to make them fresh pasta.

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