Melissa’s Menu: Homemade pasta

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In these scary and unprecedented times, cooking has been something that has helped keep me sane while quarantining at home. Cooking and eating are two of my favorite hobbies, and I’ve begun to challenge myself by making new and more difficult recipes. One recipe still on my bucket list, which I’m sharing this week, is homemade pasta. It’s one of the most delicious and comforting foods in the world, but most people never make it from scratch. 

It’s easy to be intimidated by making recipes completely from scratch, but pasta is actually easier to make than it may seem. It requires only a few ingredients that you most likely already have on hand, and the technique is pretty simple. It is definitely time-consuming, but with all this extra free time, why not go the extra mile? The yummy result is so worth it. 

Ingredients (for four servings)

2 cups of all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1 pinch of kosher salt

2 large eggs

6 large egg yolks

1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

Directions

On a clean, sturdy work surface, turn out flour and salt and make a large well in the middle with your hands. Whisk the eggs, egg yolks and olive oil together in a medium bowl until combined, then pour the mixture into the well. Using the same fork, whisk the eggs, slowly incorporating more and more flour into the eggs by moving your fork along the edges of the well. Once almost all of the flour is incorporated, start bringing the dough together with your hands. The dough should be malleable but not sticky. Add more flour if the dough is sticking too much to your hands or the surface. Alternatively, if it’s too dry and tough, whisk another egg with one tablespoon of water and use your hand to sprinkle some of the mixture over the dough, continuing to do so until the dough is easier to knead.

Knead the dough for about seven to 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. When you poke the dough, it should spring back. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour, or until the dough does not spring back when poked.

Unwrap the dough and cut into eight equal pieces so it’s easier to work with. Take one piece and wrap the rest in the plastic wrap so they don’t dry out. Lightly flour your work surface and begin rolling out the piece of dough into one long piece. Then, fold the top third down and the bottom third over that, like a letter. Rotate the dough 90 degrees and roll the piece back into a long shape. This helps form a more even rectangular shape and makes the dough a little bit easier to work with. Continue rolling out the dough until it is very thin. When you lift the dough, you should be able to see your hands through it.

Fold the top and bottom of the rectangle to meet in the middle, then fold over again to make the dough easier to cut. Cut the dough to your ideal shape. Loosen or unravel the cut dough immediately so it doesn’t stick and sprinkle with a bit of extra flour. Let the pasta sit out for about 30 minutes to dry out slightly. 

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and stir to ensure it doesn’t clump. Cook for two to three minutes. Once cooked to your liking, drain the pasta and serve with your choice of sauce and any extra ingredients.

Recipe courtesy of Jody Duits, Vaughn Vreeland and Claire King


Melissa Scrivani is the associate life editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at melissa.scrivani@uconn.edu.

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