Making fresh pasta at home is a very old story in my culinary journey. Actually I’d rather not metion how many years have passed since I learned it.  But I can tell you I was around 18 years-old and I was the “little missy” of the Turkish Embassy in one of the most beautiful cities of a Scandinavian country. “Little Missy” is what they call you if you’re the daughter of the Ambassador or some other high-rank state officer.  Maybe it’s not too common having “little missy” hanging out in the kitchen of the residence so often and for prolonged periods but I found it fascinating being able to watch our Chef Rıza working in the kitchen and preparing delicious meals for either us or our dinner guests. I must admit I learned a great deal of basics from Chef Rıza during those years. Looking back to those days, I am more grateful to him than ever before for being so incredibly patient with me. Imagine being the Chef of an embassy (not an easy task I assure you) and having an 18 year-old overly inquisitive young lady peeking over your shoulder at nearly all times! Although my mom is one of the best homecooks ever, learning from a professional in the large and well-equipped kitchen of a residence where cleaning up was neither my nor my mother’s responsibility was quite an enjoyable and rewarding experience.

Fresh pasta and particularly spinach purée-added fresh pasta was one of the delicacies I learned from Chef Rıza during those years. He made it look so simple that it seemed like one of the most natural things to do. Although the recipe I share with you here may not exactly be the one he taught me (because I wasn’t wise enough to take note of it at the time), I’ve learned throughout the years that most fresh pasta recipes are more or less quite similar. With just a few very simple ingredients – fresh eggs, flour, semolina, salt and just a scant drizzle of olive oil – you can make a pasta dough which, when rolled out into a thin sheet, will feel as smooth and luxurious as the finest silk you can find! And once you get used to it, you will want to make it more and more. Because you can create a variety of different dishes with it each time, you will want to play around and experiment with different shapes and flavors. I believe it’s the simplicity along with the versatility that makes fresh pasta dough so irresistibly tempting! So let’s get down to it, shall we?

 

Ingredients

  • 1 large (or 2 small) fresh eggs, at room temperature
  • 110 gr (3/4 cup) all purpose flour (plus a little extra for rolling out dough)
  • 1 tbsp semolina flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1-2 tsp olive oil

 

Step by step method

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  1. Sift flour, semolina flour and salt into a bowl and make a well in the middle.
  2. Break egg(s) in the well, drizzle the olive oil and use a fork to whisk the eggs and mix them gradually with the flour, going around and taking a little bit flour with each turn.
  3. Now take dough out of the bowl and onto a lightly floured surface to knead well until you obtain a nice, smooth ball of dough. Make sure to use only a scant amount of flour when kneading the dough. Using too much extra flour will make your dough too stiff to work with. Wrap dough in cling film and leave to rest at room temperature for at least 20-30 minutes.

  4. Cut dough into 2 equal sized pieces. This will make it easier to roll out if you’re working alone. Use a rolling pin to roll out dough into a rectangular shape and to a thickness that allows easy passage through the cylinder of your pasta machine.
  5. Roll out dough passing it through the cylinder several times, starting from thickest level and moving on gradually, increasing the number at each turn. The dough gets thinner as the numbers on the knob increase. I generally roll up to level 7 to make tagliatelle.

  6. Once you’ve obtained your fresh pasta sheets, cut or shape them as required and dust them litghtly with some flour to prevent them from sticking. Spread out onto baking sheets or trays until ready to cook.

Additional Information

This recipe will yield approximately 250 gr of fresh pasta. This may be enough for 2 to 3 persons depending on the serving size.

If you don’t have a pasta machine you can roll out the dough using a rolling pin, then cut manually.

If you want to make colored pasta, for example green pasta seen in the photo, you can cook 250-300 gr of spinach for a couple of minutes in boiling water, drain and dip it into cold water then drain again and squeeze out all water, purée and add to the dough.

Fresh pasta cooks almost instantly so you should prepare your sauce in advance. Add lots of salt to boiling water and cook for about 2 minutes approximately. Drain and add to sauce, toss briefly over medium heat and serve immediately.