Serves 4 to 6
What makes the difference in fresh pasta is the number of eggs you use to make the dough.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons water
To make the dough by hand: Measure the flour, and shake it through a sieve into a medium mixing bowl. Drop the eggs and/or egg yolks into a small bowl; beat briefly with a fork to break them up. Pour in the measured amounts of oil and water, and mix well with the eggs. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour. Toss and mix everything with a fork until all the flour is moistened and starts to clump together. Lightly flour your hands, then gather the clumps and begin kneading right in the bowl, folding the raggedy mass over, pushing and turning it, then folding again. When you’ve formed a cohesive clump of dough, turn it out onto a small work surface lightly dusted with ½ teaspoon flour, and continue kneading for 2 to 3 minutes, until the dough is smooth and shiny on the outside, soft throughout (no lumps), and stretchy. If your dough seems too sticky or hard after it has been kneaded for a minute or two, adjust the consistency with very small amounts of flour or water. Form the dough into a disk, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and let it rest at room temperature for ½ hour. To make the dough in the food processor: Fit the regular steel dough blade in the bowl of the processor. Measure the flour into the bowl; process for a few seconds to blend and aerate. Drop the eggs and/or egg yolks into a small bowl; beat briefly with a fork to break them up. Mix in the measured amounts of oil and water. To minimize the change of overheating the dough, use eggs right from the refrigerator, and cold water. Start the machine running with the feed tube open. Pour the wet mixture into the bowl quickly; scrape all the eggs drippings out of the bowl into the processor, too. Let the machine run for about 30 seconds. A dough should form quickly; most of it should clump or ball up on the blade, where it will twist and knead; some may spread on the side of the bowl. Let the machine knead the dough for about 10 seconds (no more than 40 seconds total processing). Turn the dough out onto a very lightly floured surface, and knead by hand for another 30 seconds or so, until it’s smooth, soft and stretchy. Wrap and rest the dough, or store it as described for making the dough by hand. If you have a problem in the food processor – if there is no apparent clumping after 30 seconds, or the dough stiffens up very quickly – stop the machine and feel the dough. Adjust for stickiness or dryness by working in either flour or water in small amounts. You can continue to work the dough in the machine, but don’t process for more than a total of 40 seconds. Or you can turn the dough out to correct the consistency and finish kneading by hand.