Back in late spring and early summer of 2020, baking sourdough bread was all the rage. This passion for making and baking sourdough from scratch was so popular that it caused a severe flour shortage. In fact, with most restaurants opening and closing all the time, people have been craving for their creature comforts.
If you’re like me, you miss going out and grabbing a hearty meal with your girlfriends. And nothing is heartier than a nice big plate of pasta.
Yup, it’s all about the carbs sometimes.
But nobody thinks about pasta and says to themselves, “I’d love to open a box of pasta and eat it.”
When you dream about pasta, it’s fresh, slathered in sauce with chicken, seafood, whatever you want! It’s delicious any way you want it, but especially when the pasta is fresh.
I know what you’re thinking, that it’s difficult to make pasta at home, you don’t have the time or know-how.
Wrong, wrong, wrong. There is a super simple way to make fresh pasta from scratch, and this recipe only requires four ingredients.
Four Ingredient Easy Pasta Recipe
As I mentioned, making fresh pasta is easier than you think, especially once you learn how. I prefer the traditional handmade pasta method, but you can also use a food processor to help you out if you want.
To start with, you need the most essential ingredient, flour. Pasta is made with all-purpose flour or semolina.
The difference between all-purpose flour and semolina is that semolina is made from durum wheat and is milled to be more coarse than all-purpose flour and offers slight color and texture differences to the pasta. Semolina also will make more of your sauce to cling to the noodle, while A-P flour creates a smoother, silkier noodle.
- For this recipe, I recommend using only an all purpose flour that is natural and unbleached. Two cups of flour are ideal for this recipe, and the flour to egg ratio for making perfect homemade pasta is 3:2 parts flour to the egg.
- The second ingredient you need is three large eggs. The eggs will act as the binder for the flour and make the noodles more elastic.
- Olive oil will help keep the noodles moist, and if the noodle dough is too dry, you can always add a little water to help.
- Finally, add a pinch of rough, coarse salt to the mixture to enhance the flavors. It’s recommended that you salt your boiling water before you add the fresh noodles. This step helps add flavor to the noodles during the cooking process.
Now that you have your ingredients ready, the handmade version is pretty straightforward.
Time To Get Cracking
Take your flour, and place it on a clean, dry surface area or counter. Form a small well in the middle of the flour, crack your eggs, then put them into the well and lightly season with your olive oil and salt. Not too much of either though, I usually drizzle a little bit of oil (1 teaspoon approximately), and a pinch of salt is all I need.
Once you have your flour, eggs, olive oil, and salt, you need to whisk the eggs. While you do this, slowly fold the flour into the eggs and continue whisking. You want all the flour to be absorbed by the eggs until the dough is together but loose. Use your hands to fold the dough over a few times to see if it’s all incorporated or if it’s too wet.
If you find the dough to be too wet, add just a little more flour, and if it’s too dry, just pat it with some water and keep folding and rolling it until the water is absorbed.
The dough’s consistency should be a ball that you can roll over and knead, but before we do that, we want to let it rest for about 10-30 minutes.
When the dough has had time to rest, begin to knead it and roll it out with a rolling pin. If you don’t have a rolling pin, pushing down gently with the base of your hand and turning it in a circular pattern slowly to allow the dough to become more elastic and smooth.
Now that the dough is elastic, simply cut long strands of desired thickness. Pappardelle and fettucini are some of the broader noodles and will hold onto your sauce better than traditional spaghetti noodles.
Once you cut your noodles, place them on a covered cookie tray or pasta rack and lightly flour the noodles. This final step will help dry the noodle’s exterior and keep them from sticking to each other before cooking.
Finally, when you’re ready, get a pot of boiling water ready, drop the noodles in for about 3 minutes and pull them from the water. Use some of the starchy water to add to whatever sauce you plan on making, and viola! You’ve made delicious scratch-made pasta.