Fresh Pasta SheetsMakes 1 pound
4 cups all-purpose flour
6 large eggs
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, measure out all but 1/3 cup of the flour. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and salt. With the machine running, add the egg mixture through the feed tube and process just until a ball of dough forms. If it looks too stiff and dry, add a tablespoon of warm water.
2. Transfer the dough to a well-floured work surface and knead it, stretching it out with the palms of your hands, folding it over, and repeating until the dough is smooth and soft, about 10 minutes. (Add a bit more flour, as needed, to keep the dough from being too sticky.) Transfer the dough to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit for 1 hour before rolling out and cutting.
3. To roll out the pasta using a machine: Set the machine at the lowest setting. Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces and pass each through the pasta rollers two times at each setting, increasing the setting after every two passes to make a thinner sheet. Only go up to the second thinnest setting or the dough will be too thin. Do not pull the dough through the machine, rather gently support it as is comes out of the rollers. Allow the pasta sheets to dry for 15 minutes before cutting.
Fresh Pasta Cooking Tips
• Generously salt the water you are using to boil pasta. 1 tablespoon for every 2 quarts of water is a good amount.
• Pasta requires a lot of water to cook properly. If there is too little water, the pasta will stick together.
• Do not add oil to the pasta water, except when boiling lasagna noodles. Pasta sauce cannot adhere properly to oily pasta.
• Match your pasta shapes with the sauce that is accompanying it. Chunky sauces require equally textured pasta.
• Cooking times: Fresh pasta noodles take about 3 minutes to cook; stuffed fresh pasta takes about 5 minutes.
• If using packaged pasta: Don’t judge the cooking time by the back of the package. Start tasting the pasta a few minutes before the estimated cooking time has elapsed.
• Never rinse your pasta unless you are making a cold pasta salad.
• Add a few tablespoons of sauce to your drained pasta to prevent it from sticking.