You don’t have to use “00” flour when making pasta, but you’ll be glad if you do. Italian flour is classified according to how finely it’s ground, with “00” being the finest. It’s really soft and fine, which makes it very easy to work with and results in perfect dough for pasta or pizza.
You really can’t beat pasta made and eaten on the same day. But we’ll forgive you if you buy good-quality dried pasta, such as Woolies’ Italian bronze die pasta (left). It’s made in Italy using a bronze die cutter, which means it’s a little rough around the edges and on the surface, all the better to grab onto all that delicious sauce.
How to make pasta from scratch
You will need:
200 g “00” flour or cake flour
2 free-range eggs
Place the flour onto a clean surface and make a well. Crack the eggs into the well. Using a fork, gently whisk the eggs, slowly bringing the flour into the centre. When the flour has been incorporated, the mixture will take on a dough-like consistency.
Knead the dough for 5 minutes, or until smooth. Shape into a ball, then wrap in clingfilm and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
Divide the dough into four portions, using one portion and covering the remaining dough with clingfilm. Set the pasta machine to its largest setting and pass the first portion of dough through the machine 4 or 5 times, folding it over onto itself each time. Use extra flour to ensure a smooth result.
Set the machine to the next smallest setting and continue passing the pasta through each of the settings once. Once the second-smallest setting has been used, place the pasta on a floured surface, dust it with flour and leave it to dry out slightly (10 minutes) – it should feel like leather but still be pliable. Repeat this process with the remaining dough.
To make cut pasta, attach the pasta cutters to the machine. Using the tagliatelle cutter, pass through the first dried pasta portion, followed by the remaining sheets of dough.
Hang the pasta ribbons for 30–60 minutes, then arrange the strands into balls, ready for boiling. 8 To cut the pasta yourself, dust each sheet of dough with flour and fold over several times. Slice 1 cm-wide strips for tagliatelle or 3–4 mm-wide strips for fettuccine. Cook in salted boiling water for 2–3 minutes or until al dente. Drain and toss with sauce.
Now that you’ve made your own pasta, use it in one of these pasta recipes.