Truth be told there are a million versions of a fresh egg pasta dough you can make, this is just the method I have settled on. I know it so well the process has become so comforting and familiar. My biggest piece of advice is don't rush it, try to enjoy the steps and think of it as a little kitchen meditation. You can check out my guide on where to start for homemade pasta if you haven't tried this before. Flour and water doughs are much easier, shapes like gnocchi sardi are a breeze for beginners.
What you will need to make the best pasta dough
Flour - I use a combination of '00' flour and semola rimacinata, which is a very finely milled semolina. To explain it quickly '00' is a soft, elastic flour and the semola is made from a durum wheat so it is 'harder'. That means it has more structure and bite. Using the two together works perfectly and you can use different ratios depending on what you are making. The only time I would use '00' on it's own is if I am making a silky handkerchief pasta or a papardelle but even then I personally quite like the bite a little semola can bring.
Eggs - I learnt early on in my pasta making journey when reading Evan Funke's cookbook that weighing your eggs is the best method. Eggs vary in size so much so by weighing them you reduce any risk of a dough that is either too wet or too dry. I put a bowl on my scales then crack the eggs in until I get the weight I need.
How to make homemade pasta dough
- Mix the flours together in a bowl then tip it out onto your bench. Create a well in the centre of the flour mound with the bottom of a bowl.
- Tip the eggs into the well and start to whisk them with a fork. Break up the yolks and gradually incorporating the flour from around the sides into the middle.
- Keep doing this until the mixture in the middle is thick enough that it won’t escape or run out – a scrambled egg consistency!
- I like to then go in with a bench scraper and start to fold it all together, cutting the egg mixture into the flour like you are cutting butter into flour when making pastry. You are trying to evenly incorporate the eggs and flour to create a loose shaggy dough as pictured.
- When you have an even, shaggy mixture, bring it all together into a mound with your hands.
- Knead the mixture vigorously for a few minutes until it comes together into a workable ball. I wash my hands at this stage to get rid of any dried pieces that are stuck. If it feels dry then run your hands under water and continue kneading.
- When it has a dimpled texture, wrap it in clingfilm and rest for ten minutes.
- After 10 minutes continue kneading for a 3 - 4 minutes until you have a nice smooth dough ball
- Wrap tightly in cling film and rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes but preferably an hour or up to three.
Why the double rest?
A tip I also learnt from Evan Funke! It really is a game changer and does a lot of the work for you just by sitting untouched! When you are bringing a pasta dough together you are hydrating the flour with the eggs. It needs time to do this so by resting it for that first 10 minutes you are giving it a chance to do so. You'll be quite surprised how different the dough feels after that first rest. It means you won't have to knead it for as long as you would normally.Print