This is less of an actual recipe, more of a big encouraging push. You really can and you really should spend an afternoon or an evening in the kitchen, preferably with a big glass of wine and someone to laugh with, while you knead and roll and slice. This is perfect for date-night-in or wine night with your best girl, like my soul sister Becca here.
Here’s the truth: your dough will never be as thin rolled by hand as through a pasta machine. It’s just not happening and that’s okay. Fresh noodles puff up as they boil and they’ll get nice and thick, perfect for any hearty sauce like stroganoff.
We’re doing this old-school on the counter because I like it that way. Becca pointed out how much cleaner this would be in a bowl, I said she was right but we’re making a mess anyway. Tradition!
Dump your flour on the clean counter and make a well in the center. Sprinkle a pinch of salt across the flour, then crack eggs into the well. Use your fingers to ‘whisk’ flour into the egg, starting from the center and slowly working your way out.
When all the flour is incorporated, the dough will be rough and shaggy. Now we knead.
This is where you tell your friend they’ve been tricked into an upper arm workout, because we are going all-out on this dough.
Punch and fold and punch and push until the surface of the dough is smooth and soft instead of tacky. This takes a while… like it’s-done-when-your-arms-are-sore a while. Catch up on each other’s day, dance to the music (you have music going, right?), dream about shoveling all this pasta into your mouth.
When the dough is ready, cover it with a damp towel and let it rest while you make your sauce.
Sauce is simmering? Good. Time to work those arms again!
Set a pot of lightly salted water on the stove to boil. Divide the dough into 4 pieces and leave 3 under the damp towel. Lightly flour the counter and begin rolling, rolling, rolling. Flip the dough every now and then to make sure it isn’t sticking to the counter.
When it’s as thin as you can get it without tearing holes, use a knife or pizza cutter to begin cutting uniform strips. (Light touch here – careful with your countertops!) Twirl the noodles into a little nest and repeat for the rest of the dough.
By now we’re a little tired and a lot hungry – good thing the water is boiling and fresh noodles cook in just a couple minutes!
Drain the noodles, divide among bowls, generously cover with lots of sauce – a little more – and settle down with that refilled glass of wine.
Welcome to noodle heaven.
Becca made an AH-mazing alfredo loaded with parmesan and stirred in the last of the Friendsgiving burgundy mushrooms, and let me tell you, I’ve been dreaming of that sauce ever since. Please ship me a big jar right away, thanks.
It’s also true that you can never go wrong with butter, salt, & pepper. Butter makes everything wonderful.
Simple Handmade Pasta
- 1 cup flour see notes, plus more for rolling
- pinch salt
- 2 eggs
- Dump flour on a clean counter and make a well in the center. Sprinkle a pinch of salt across the flour, then crack eggs into the well.
- Use fingers to 'whisk' flour into the egg, starting from the center and slowly working your way out. The dough will be rough and shaggy when all the flour is incorporated.
- Knead the dough until the surface is smooth and soft instead of tacky. When the dough is ready, cover it with a damp towel and let it rest for at least 15 minutes.
- Set a pot of lightly salted water on the stove to boil.
- Divide the dough into 4 pieces and leave 3 under the damp towel. Lightly flour the counter and roll until the dough is as thin as you can get it without tearing holes.
- Use a knife or pizza cutter to begin cutting uniform strips. Twirl the noodles into a little nest and repeat for the rest of the dough.
- Cook the noodles in boiling water for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes until al dente, tasting to check if they're done. Drain, plate, devour.