Celebrating Family (Fresh Pasta Recipe)

Growing up, every Sunday when my grandmother cooked, it was always a feast. One of my favorite dishes (and fondest memories) of my grandmother’s cooking is her fresh pasta. I always think of her when I make my own. As a child, I loved watching her make fresh pasta. She would give me a piece of the dough to play with, and I attempted to imitate her every move.

During my last visit to Brazil, I wanted to make a special meal for my family where I honored my grandmother for all those years cooking for us, especially making fresh pasta without a pasta machine! She is a woman who believes in the value and taste of cooking from scratch and I learned so much from her. So I made fresh pasta for my 92 year old grandmother and my 95 year old grandfather. She came to the kitchen to watch me, and said she was proud and happy to see how much I love to cook.

It was a meal that brought tears to my eyes. My grandparents had full servings (don’t let their age fool you, they both have quite a healthy appetite) and told me it was the best pasta they had ever had; a true show of grand-parently love. Since then, I started making fresh pasta more often because it always reminds me of that day, and I would love to share it with you.

 

About making pasta
If you think fresh pasta is complicated to make, or that you don’t have the time or cannot be bothered. I challenge you to try it. It is much easier than you think, I promise! It can also be quite fun! Kneading dough is a relaxing process (ok, for me it is) and nevertheless quite a good little arm workout. You will feel a great sense of accomplishment in the kitchen AND guests are always impressed. Once you try it, you’ll continue making it, because there’s no comparison to the taste of fresh pasta! Also, it can be frozen, so you can make a bit of effort upfront (dare I call it “labor of love”) and then have fresh pasta all the time that only cooks in 1-2 minutes (much faster than packaged dried pasta).

The only time required will depend on the amount you want to make. A pasta machine DOES make things easier. But until I bought mine, I was rolling the dough for months without it, and I didn’t find it as hard as I thought it would be. So please, at least give it a try! You will be happy you did, and so will the people you feed :-)

Fresh Egg Pasta
Serves 5-6 people

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 2/3 cups (400g) of all-purpose flour (or Type 00) + more for kneading
  • 1 TBL extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 TBL water
  • pinch of salt

Directions (they are detailed, do not be intimidated):

  1. Sift flour and salt in a large bowl. Beat eggs, water and olive oil and slowly add
    to flour and salt, stirring with a fork until it starts forming a dough.
  2. Transfer dough to floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes; you can knead a little more if you feel energetic and happy you are making fresh pasta! (click here for kneading tips) Shape dough into a ball and cover it with plastic film. Let it rest for 20 minutes.

Rolling the dough by hand (click here for machine instructions):

  1. Transfer dough to floured surface and knead another 2-5 minutes.
  2. Using a rolling pin, flatten and open a small piece of the dough, rolling in different directions if you want a larger surface area, or back and forth if you want a long piece (for ravioli).
  3. Roll it until very thin (to your liking); thin enough so you can see your hands through it but does not break apart when you pull it up. Note: pasta expands a little when cooked, so roll it a bit thinner than you would like to eat).

Shaping and cutting the dough:

  1. I usually cut the dough as soon as I roll it so it doesn’t dry up. (If using machine, and need to change attachments, you can roll out big pieces and keep them covered with a clean kitchen towel on a floured surface). Sprinkle flour over the dough and carefully fold it into a large loose log (not tight or the dough will stick together).
  2. Cut the dough across the folds and pull them apart (like strings) and place onto a floured tray. I usually cut pappardelle (thick noodles) about 1-1.5cm (1/2 inch) wide. For tagliatelle or fettucine, you can cut it a little narrower. You can also leave the dough in large pieces to make lasagna or ravioli.

You now have fresh pasta! You can use it right away, leave it in the fridge for a few days (covered with a kitchen towel), or freeze it for 2-3 months (click here for freezing tips).

Cooking fresh pasta:

  1. Boil water in a large pot. I usually don’t add salt to my fresh pasta water since it has more flavor than dried pasta, and I already added salt to the dough.
  2. Carefully place the fresh pasta inside the pot (straight from the freezer if using frozen pasta). The pasta is done when it floats to the top (usually 1-2 minutes). Carefully remove it and place it in the pan with the sauce of your choice and it can continue to cook for less than a minute there. There is no need to pour cold water over cooked pasta to “stop” cooking (that just makes the pasta cold and doesn’t allow it to absorb the sauce).

I hope you enjoy this recipe, and if it’s your first time making fresh pasta, let me know how it turned out! I smile every time I make it because I think of my grandmother. I hope this recipe will bring a nice warm smile to you as well.

Bom apetite!

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About Food Cookture

Alessandra - food blogger at Food Cookture (www.foodcookture.com). Passion for cooking, inspired by cultures and travels.
This entry was posted in Entree (lunch/dinner), First Course, Pasta, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Celebrating Family (Fresh Pasta Recipe)

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  4. Pingback: Ravioli di Ricotta | Food Cookture

  5. meredith says:

    what a wonderful post! i will surely be making some of that delicious pasta soon!

  6. viviane LINCOLN says:

    Alessandra
    Lembrei das minhas ferias em Sampa na casa da minha vó! Ela fazia uma lasanha maravilhosa, também com massa fresca. Podemos tentar fazer um dia aqui em casa! Eu ADORO COZINHAR!
    Parabéns pelo blog.
    Beijos

  7. Courtney says:

    Beautiful story, beautiful blog, and of course beautiful cook! So proud of you!

  8. Elena says:

    Ale, this is simply amazing! but I knew you were going to make an awesome job with you blog…which is now saved on my favourites!!! I will keep following your beautiful posts!! Bacioni- Ele

  9. Francesco says:

    This is the most amazing blog made by the most special cook in the world!!! Thanks for cookturing me…

  10. Fabi Neves says:

    I don’t know what I like the most, the recipe, the story behind it or the way you write! I’m looking forward to see more of your creations! :)
    BTW, the Conversions session is GREAT!!!

    • Alessandra says:

      Thank you Fabi! I’m so happy you enjoy the blog :-) I’ll be posting more helpful tips, conversions, short-cuts, substitutions, etc. I want to share all that I know to help people find it in one place :-)

    • Denim says:

      Your articles are for when it ablyoutesl, positively, needs to be understood overnight.

  11. Fabio Musio says:

    I’m so glad to have found this blog!
    Your words are so inspiring and your story is so touching you make me feel like preparing and eating the fresh pasta right now!
    It’s so encouraging to still see young people love cooking and sharing their experience with all the friends.
    I’m proud of you, keep on going! You have a new follower of your blog!

  12. Carolina Egro says:

    This is amazing, so easy to follow and so pleasant to read! I love your new blog and can’t wait to read the other recipes, I also love the photos! I hope everyone can try your recipe and enjoy the beauty of serving and eating fresh pasta everyday!

    • Alessandra says:

      Grazie Caro for your nice words! I also hope people eat more fresh pasta – it’s so simple and so good :-) I’m glad you like the pictures, the 2nd one is from the day I cooked for my grandparents :-)

  13. Alberto says:

    Excellent job! It reminds me my grandmother’s recepie too. I believe we now want to hear from you a great Ragu’ alla Bolognese recepie to enjoy this amazing fresh pasta!

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