While you might think of pasta as a quintessentially Italian dish, it actually came to Italy when the Arab invasions in the 8th century brought a pasta product to Sicily. This Italian city began producing pasta as a staple food, which quickly became a favorite the world over. Rich and poor, young and old, in dozens of countries all over the world count pasta as their favorite dish. Oxfam conducted a global survey, deeming pasta as the world’s most popular dish. Clearly, pasta is no longer just an Italian mealtime feature. While boxed pasta tastes delicious, and makes a wonderful pantry mainstay, homemade pasta truly brings a special flavor to the table. Simple to make, and made with just a few basic ingredients, homemade pasta will make any dish shine, and feels special even when adorned with just butter and parmesan. For a few more ideas spanning global cuisine, check out the flavor combinations below.
Total Time: 45 minutes
Special Equipment: Pasta machine
- 2 large eggs
- 10 large egg yolks
- 2 ½ cups pasta or unbleached flour
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup semolina flour, plus more for dusting
- In a small bowl, whisk together the whole eggs and the yolks.
- Put the pasta flour, salt, and semolina flour in a large mixing bowl, and make a well in the center. Pour the egg mix into the well, and use a fork to slowly pull flour into the eggs, and mix until it starts forming a dough.
- Knead the dough with your hands like you’re making bread, adding a bit more flour if it feels very sticky. Form it into a ball, and let the dough rest covered in a dish towel for at least 10 minutes.
- When the dough has rested, cut it into 10 pieces, dust them with a bit of semolina flour, and run each piece through the pasta machine first on the widest setting 3 times, then on each consecutive setting 2 or 3 more times until you have your desired thickness. Cut each pasta sheet into whatever shapes you like, or press them into ravioli.
- After you cut each sheet, toss the pasta with semolina flour to prevent the pieces from sticking.
- When ready to eat, bring a large pot of water to a roaring boil, add enough salt to replicate the salinity of the ocean (be generous, you’re seasoning your pasta!), and cook the pasta for 3-5 minutes, depending on the size of the noodle. It doesn’t take long to cook fresh pasta, so check the texture after 2 or 3 minutes, it could be done. Drain the pasta, and dress it with one of the ideas below.
- Truffle oil, black pepper, and parmesan
- Soy sauce, butter, shrimp, and mushrooms
- Ripe cherry tomatoes, olive oil, and basil
- Crispy tofu, bell peppers, sesame oil, and scallions
- Caramelized onions, mushrooms, and sage
- Ground beef, crushed tomatoes, and olive oil
- Crisped prosciutto, parmesan, and butter
- Spring peas, asparagus, green herbs, pecorino Romano and olive oil