I did it, I did it! I have finally conquered the homemade, fresh pasta-making! Now my pasta dough is beautiful and velvety! :)
The first time I made pasta dough, I used my favorite Food Network chef's recipe - Mr. Alton Brown. Alton has NEVER failed me. His chewy chocolate chip cookie recipe is our go-to recipe. And he helped us conjure up our first turkey for our families this Christmas, which was so juicy. But his pasta dough recipe was a fail. More than once fail. I kept giving it a shot thinking it was me being new to pasta making. Or maybe it was because I was using a hand-cranked pasta machine. After several attempts, the dough was just still too sticky, and hard to roll/cut. I even used more flour to combat the wetness. But I think the problem with the recipe was that he had you refrigerating the pasta dough before rolling/cutting. I think all that moisture from sitting in the fridge just ruined the dough.
Then one day I was watching Food Network and saw Anne Burrell make fresh pasta for a wild boar ragu. She didn't rest her dough in the fridge. Aha number one! I memorized it so I could give it a shot: 4 cups flour, 4 eggs, 1 egg yolk, olive oil, and salt. When I tried it though, the dough wouldn't come together. I was about to give up until Matt said, why not add more eggs? Why not waste a couple more eggs as opposed to tossing out 4 cups and 5 eggs worth of pasta dough, right? So I added 2 more eggs, another tsp of water, and a couple drizzle of olive oil. And it started to form together! Not gonna lie, I was doing a happy dance. After letting it rest on the counter for an hour, I went for the true test, the rolling part. And it was tough to roll (I think because there was so much of it), but it rolled. And cut out into nice fettuccine noodles too! So 4 cups of flour, 6 eggs, 1 egg yolk, 2 tsp water,1/4 cup of olive oil, and some salt later, I had enough pasta dough for 2 separate meals, lasting a week each. It made a lot of pasta.
So last week, I tried it again. This time, shrinking the ratios down for just one dish. It turned out perfect. The dough came together nicely with no problems, rolled out easily, and was so velvety. Below is my recipe for fresh pasta dough, the final one I'll be using for all my pasta-making now:
Fresh Pasta Dough