Recipe: Fresh pasta the easy way.

By Dave Elkan

I battled for years to make fresh pasta by hand, until Jamie Oliver showed me the easy way. Up until that point I thought he was just an empty celebrity chef!

Ingredients per person

  • 1 x egg at room temperature
  • 100g plain white flour

Limiting yourself to four people’s worth of ingredients at a time, place the flour and eggs into a food processor and mix with the sharp blade until the flour and eggs reach a cous cous-like consistency. Tap out the mixture onto bench-top and knead until formed into a solid ball. Cut the ball into two or three portions and roll through your pasta machines rollers on the widest setting, folding the dough each time you pass them through. For each portion, do this around 6 - 10 times or until the dough reaches a shiny, springy texture. Aim to have square edges. I achieve this by turning the folded dough 90 degrees before rolling again. Lay the rolled dough segments under a tea towel until all are ready to cut.

If you’re lucky like me, you’ll have your significant other cooking sauce whilst you make the pasta. If this is not the case, you may wish to cut the pasta before you start making the sauce.

To cut the pasta, roll the dough to the desired thickness. All machines are different, but my Atlas number, I generally go to #5 for fettuccine or #6 for spaghetti. Roll out one sheet at a time and cut it in half if it is too long to handle easily. Super long pasta is more hassle than it’s worth.

Dave making pasta

Place eash cut sheet on a single tea towel and sprinkle with a little flour. If the pasta sticks now it’s no biggie as it’ll come undone when it goes into the boiling water.

Ensure you have ample water to boil the pasta. Fresh pasta tends to float when you cook it, so a big pot is best. Add SALT to the water. This prevents the pasta from sticking. Oil is not necessary.

Once all sheets are complete and the water is boiling, place the pasta into the water and stir to separate. Ensure the pasta rotates during cooking. If your pot is too small or the pasta is too long, then it will simply float and the top parts will not cook as quickly as the bottom. If this is the case, make sure you stir it frequently.

Fresh pasta takes much less time to cook than dried packet pasta. Ensure you sample as you go to ensure you don’t over-cook it.


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