Making homemade pasta

Although dried pasta is quite inexpensive and extremely convenient, there is something to be said for knowing exactly what is going into the food that you’re consuming.  There is also something to be said for de-stressing while enjoying a nice glass of wine and vigorously kneading an elastic ball of pasta dough.  Not to mention the satisfaction and wonder that comes from knowing you took three simple ingredients (flour, eggs, salt) and turned them into the base for a satisfying, family-friendly meal.

1.  Combine 2 cups flour, three eggs, and a teaspoon of salt in a bowl.

2. Stir it together with a fork until it becomes a loose dough.

3.Turn this out onto a floured work surface and knead by hand until it becomes a smooth, elastic ball.

4.  Divide dough into six equal portions and begin running through the pasta machine, starting at the largest opening.  Fold sheets of pasta back onto themselves and continue running through the largest setting until dough is very smooth and elastic (and doesn’t tear when you run it through the next smaller setting – you may have to add more flour to the surface of the pasta as you run it through the machine).

5.  Continue running pasta through machine, taking it through the progressively smaller settings on the machine, until you’ve reached the smallest setting.  You may have to cut your sheets in half, depending on the size of your work surface (they will get quite long the thinner they get).

6.  Once you’ve gotten to the smallest setting and you have delicately thin sheets of pasta, you use them as-is for lasagna, or cut them into varying widths depending on your mood.  I chose pappardelle in this instance.  Lay the noodles over a pasta drying rack (if you have one) or the edge of a large bowl to dry while you work with the rest of the dough.

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