I grew up observing my grandma, every Sunday morning, making Tortellini, Tortelloni, Tagliatelle, Strichetti, everything homemade, with passion and love, for the Sunday family lunch. Making homemade pasta is a form of art, it’s a very precious knowledge that needs to be handed down through the different generations and it is also a very important part of Bologna’s tradition and culture.
I don’t think making good homemade pasta is difficult, you just need time to dedicate finding the right ingredients, practicing and practicing again.
What do you need
A wooden board, at least 80 cm x 100 cm
A rolling pin, at least 100 cm long and 5 cm thick
A pasta knife, with a square blade
Two cutting wheels, one with straight blade and one with corrugated blade
A scale and a liquid measurer
You may use the machine to roll the dough but it isn’t essential, my grandma use to do it all with her hands and I will explain you later how to do it.
Types of Pasta
Eggs dough: this is the classic and most popular in Emilia Romagna, my region. It’s everything about the egg: you count the egg according to the number of portions you have to make, 1 egg (60-70 gr) = 2 portions. For every egg you put in the dough you also add 110 gr of plain flour: 3 eggs + 330 gr of flour = 6 portions.
Eggs & Vegetables dough: the “green pasta dough” made with eggs, flour and spinach (or other green vegetables, like broccoli for example.. why not? be creative!). You will need 500 gr of flour, 3 eggs and 300gr of raw vegetables (spinach, when are cooked and dried are also half weight), which you will turn into puree.
Water & Flour dough: this type of past can be made using whole wheat flour or plain flour, if you use the second remember to use warm water, if you use the first you can use hot or even boiling water. You will need 1 part of water and 2 parts of flour: 500 gr of flour + 250 ml of water = 5-6 portions (it also depends how much pasta your guests can eat..)
How to make Pasta
Put the flour on the wooden board in a vulcano shape with a hole in the centre. If you are making Egg Pasta the hole will be the “nest” for your eggs. Start mixing with a fork, beating the eggs and getting slowly the flour form the edges of the hole. If you are making a Eggs & Vegetables Pasta this is the moment to add your vegetables puree and keep mixing until it will be nice and smooth. If you are making a Water and Flour Pasta start pouring the water in the hole while mixing with the fork. Keep mixing with your hands, after getting rid of all the hard bits sticking to the board, until you have a smooth and elastic dough. you will lead the dough for about 10-15 minutes before you wrap it in cling film and let it rest for 30 minutes.
Let’s roll the dough with our hands
Put the dough on the wooden floury board, press with the rolling pin in the centre and start rolling in 3 directions: up, left and right. Now turn the dough and keep doing the same process, it will start having a circular shape. turn it often upside down in order to work it on both sides. When the dough is getting thinner wrap it around the rolling pin and pull it slowly while unwrapping it. Remember that the perfect pasta shouldn’t be thicker than 0,5 millimetre and it should be almost see-through but uniform and compact.
Time to cut
Now you will cut the sheet according to what type of paste you’d like to cook. Strips for Tagliatelle or Pappardelle, squares for Tortellini, Tortellini or Ravioli that you will then fill with different fillings, rectangular sheets for Lasagna or Cannelloni.
Cooking pasta tips: cook it in a wide pan, add a bit of oil to the cooking water, cook it for 3-4 minutes.
Follow my recipes for different types of pasta!