If you’re anything like me, making pasta dough by hand will (sooner or later) bring you to tears (and NOT from overwhelming culinary joy). So you could imagine how thankful I was to learn this really simple pasta dough recipe in a cooking class with Australia’s first Masterchef winner, Julie Goodwin.
The best part about this particular recipe is that you can use a bench mixer (i.e. Kitchenaid) which saves you a good 10 – 12 minutes of agonising kneading by hand, as well as a lifetime of cleaning flour from your house. As well as a Kitchenaid or bench mixer, you will also need a Pasta roller (you can find mine here: MasterChef Extra Wide Pasta Machine).
The benefits of making dough by hand are firstly, fresh pasta takes less time to cook. But let’s be honest, the best part of going to such an effort to make your own pasta dough is the impression you leave your friends and family that you are utterly superior in the kitchen.
To start with, you will need to learn (as I did) a few high level rules to bear in mind when making any pasta dough:
- 1 egg per person (i.e. 4 eggs if making for 4 people); AS WELL AS
- 100g of flour (3/4 cup) per egg (so 400g for 4 eggs);
- Using a bench mixer to knead the dough takes roughly HALF the time (5 minutes) as kneading the dough by hand (10 minutes).
The below is designed to serve four people
- 4 eggs (for four people);
- 400g plain (or 00) flour;
- 1/4 teaspoon salt.
- Sift the flour into a mixing bowl to avoid lumps and season with 1/4 teaspoon of salt;
- Whisk your eggs in a separate bowl and add them to the flour;
- Scrape any loose flour from up the sides of the mixing bowl back down to the centre;
- Use the kneading dough hook of your bench mixer to knead the dough on a medium speed for about 5 minutes until the dough is quite tough and firm;
- If the dough is too “wet” you can add some more flour, just a pinch at a time;
- Once the dough is firm and tough, remove it from the bench mixer and use your hands to roll it into a ball;
- Wrap it in cling wrap and leave on a bench (not in the fridge) to prove for between 20 mins (minimum) and as long as overnight;
- You can follow the instructions for your pasta maker to roll out the pasta.
NB: Handmade pasta takes less time to cook than pre-packaged pasta.
As a general rule, the pasta is ready when it floats to the surface of boiling water, but I recommend always testing a small section of the pasta before draining it. Don’t burn yourself!
You can keep your fresh pasta in an air tight container for 2 – 3 days in the fridge. Otherwise, leave the pasta out on a lined baking tray for 2 – 3 days so that it dries out. You can keep dried pasta for months.