Making fresh pasta without a rolling machine may seem like a daunting task, but have no fear, it’s actually pretty easy to do.
Last month I attended a blogger event at Borough Market, my favorite food market in all of London (and possibly the world). Borough Market hosts chefs at its demonstration kitchen for temporary “residencies,” allowing visitors to the market to learn tips and tricks for using the market’s freshest ingredients. This month, Italian food expert Ursula Ferrigno, who is regularly featured on BBC Good Food and is an instructor at my alma mater, Leith’s School of Food and Wine, is the featured chef. I spent a few hours with Ursula and other bloggers learning how to make fresh pasta. It. Was. Life. Changing.
I’ve always thought of making pasta from scratch as really intimidating and quite frankly, out of my league. I don’t have an Italian nonna (grandmother). Even though my people invented noodles, the limitless shapes, sizes and kinds of Italian pasta always struck me as a mystery. A tasty, beautiful mystery, but a mystery nonetheless.
As it turns out, Ursula Ferrigno showed us a method for making pasta without a machine, and it couldn’t be more straightforward. The key with making pasta, as I’ve learned both in culinary school and in Ursula’s class, is to make sure your dough is pliable and smooth. It should feel kind of like refrigerated silly putty by the time you’ve finished kneading it. If it’s sticky, pillowy, or cracks easily — well, I hate to say it, but you’re not going to make good pasta.
The pasta that this recipe produces is gorgeous — just the right amount of bite, with a heavenly mix of doughiness. I love that I can make enough pasta for appetizers for my whole family using this recipe. I mean, I could easily double it and make enough for dinner-sized portions, but really, I don’t want to spoil my family into thinking that they can come home after a long day and sit down to a meal of fresh pasta like, every night.