Saturday Night I read through my copy of Marcella Hazan’s Marcella’s Italian Kitchen. I focused specifically on the homemade pasta section. She had several tips and really straight forward advice for things I hadn’t done well when I made it with a mixer so I tried again with a small batch (just enough for dinner) on Sunday, this time making the dough by hand. This process is far messier but no more time consuming then using the mixer.
Her recipe for egg dough is a ratio of one large egg to one cup of flour. Ideally your work surface is unfinished wood such as a cutting board. This will be the easiest to knead dough on without sticking. Keep a little extra flour nearby just in case you need it when kneading.
Put the flour on your work surface and make a well in the center. Break the egg(s) into the well and gently whisk with a fork slowly bringing in flour from the sides. When your middle stops being a liquid you can ditch the fork and mix the dough using your hands. Only use as much flour as you need – you will likely not need it all. You should now knead the dough. It will need about 8 minutes worth of kneading to become the elastic consistency you are looking for. If you need flour add it only a teaspoon at a time.
Everything else was the same as with the mixer recipe.
Her other suggestion was once the sheets are as thin as you will want them let them dry for at least 10 minutes before cutting.
Ahh, and the best part, with that simple recipe above it took me 30 minutes total to go from nothing to pasta drying on my counter. Not too shabby huh?