Anything homemade from scratch is superior to store bought, that's a given. If it weren't, wow, I would have a lot of extra hours in my day! There are certain foods where there is a drastic difference between store bought and homemade, while others are less noticeable. Pasta is one of those night and day foods when it comes to homemade and store bought. This is why I have cut out store bought pasta out of my life when it comes to noodles, lasagna sheets, manicotti, spaghetti, and fettuccine. I haven't learned how to make specialty pasta types such as bowtie, ziti, or bucatini, so for now those are still a store bought item for me. But, I have no doubt I will learn how to do it.
Homemade pasta is quite possible one of the easiest things to make, and once you get the hang of it, you can really do it quickly. It can be made in less than two minutes with a food processor, then after the resting period, I am able to roll out a pound with a hand crank and cut it in less than ten minutes. That is twelve minutes well spent in my book.
Below is a very basic pasta recipe, where I show you how to make it in a food processor to expedite the process. Believe it or not, humidity has a pretty significant effect on how much liquid the flour needs, so depending on the day eggs alone aren't enough and you may need some water to get the proper consistency.
** this recipe makes 1 pound of pasta
2. Pulse flour and egg until just incorporated (don't let it come together to form a ball!). Feel dough pressed between your fingers. If it feels sticky or wet, add more flour, if it doesn't hold together, add some water a little at a time. The dough should hold its shape when smoothed between your fingers but not be sticky/wet, or crumbly dry.
3. Dump dough out of the bowl of processor onto a floured surface. Bring together and press into a disc, give a couple quick kneads to form a smooth ball (don't over work it!) and wrap in shrink wrap. Press down into a disc shape.
4. Let dough rest on the counter for an hour before rolling out. This allows it to relax, and gluten to develop. Don't skip this step, it's crucial! After the hour, use the dough as you wish to make delicious pastas. See how I crank my pasta out and flash freeze it so I always have fresh pasta on hand HERE
If you have any preconceived ideas that you have to be a professional chef to make homemade pasta or it requires a bunch of expensive equipment, forget them! It uses the most basic pantry ingredients, and is incredibly easy to make with equipment a home cook has. Give it a try for yourself, and I assure you that you will never be able to go back to the boxed stuff again!
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