3 ¼cups420g plain (all purpose) flour See Note 1 for swaps
Place the flour and eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer (see: Note 2 below for doing this bit by hand).
Use the dough hook and start mixing slowly until it comes together as a ball. You may need to add a little splash of water or flour, depending on if the dough looks dry or sticky.
Once it forms into a ball, increase the speed to medium and mix for 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth.
Take the dough out of the bowl and wrap in clingfilm or wax paper (ensure it's fully covered so it doesn't dry out) and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, and up to 12 hours.
Remove from the fridge and split the dough into 4 pieces.
Using a rolling pin (see Note 3), roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until the dough is as thin as you can possibly get it. You should just about be able to see the shape of your hand through the dough.
Now you can cut the pasta into any shape you want. Large rectangles for lasagna, squares for ravioli or strips for tagliatelle.
For tagliatelle, lightly flour the top of the dough and roll it up loosely before slicing into ½ cm (0.2") thick strips.
Use your fingers to separate out the strands and place on a plate in portions.
To cook the pasta, place in a large pan of well-salted boiling water. Bring back to the boil and simmer for 3 minutes. The pasta should float to the top of the water when cooked.
Note 1 - Flour swaps
I'm using Plain or all-purpose flour for a relatively smooth pasta with a light chewiness. You can replace it (same quanitities) with:
Pasta flour or ’00’ flour - which is a protein-rich flour commonly used for a smoother, chewier pasta.
Semolina flour - which is great for a slightly rougher pasta that allows the sauce to cling to it better.
Note 2 - Making the pasta by hand
If you don't have a stand mixer, simply place your flour in a large mound on your work surface. Whisk the eggs lightly in a bowl. Make a large well in the centre of the flour and carefully add the eggs.A little at a time, slowly incorporate the flour into the eggs using a fork until the eggs and flour are fully mixed.Use your hands to shape the dough into a ball. You may need to add a tiny splash of water if the dough is very dry and crumbly. Or add a sprinkling of flour if the dough is too wet.Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 5 minutes until smooth.Continue on with the rest of the recipe.
Note 3 - Rolling pin or Pasta Machine
I used a rolling pin, which works great so long as you keep the dough lightly floured and roll until it's the thinnest you can get it (it will swell a little when cooked).If you have a pasta machine then take one of the quarter pieces of dough and squash or roll it relatively flat. Set your pasta machine on the widest setting and dust the dough in flour. Then work the pasta through the pasta machine.Knock it down a setting, so it's slightly narrower, then flour the dough and go again. Continue this, reducing the setting (and flouring the dough to prevent it sticking), until your dough as thin as it can go. Then roll and cut the dough by hand, or use the cutting setting on your machine.
Making Fresh Pasta ahead
Make the pasta and then distribute it on a floured baking sheet/plate/tray and sprinkle it with flour. You can leave it this way, uncovered, for a few hours. Leave for longer if you want to dry the pasta completely (see more info on drying pasta below). Time to cook from room temperature – 3 minutes.
If you want to make the pasta a few days ahead, you can refrigerate it too. Make the pasta then distribute it on a floured baking sheet/plate/tray and sprinkle it with flour, leave to dry for a couple of hours at room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for 2-3 days. Time to cook from refrigerated – 3 minutes.
Drying homemade pasta
Make the pasta, then distribute it on a floured baking sheet/plate/tray and sprinkle it with flour. Dry for 24 hours, until you can snap the pasta. You should try to avoid a humid environment, as the pasta won’t fully dry out. Once fully dried, store in a sealed container at room temperature for up to a month. Time to cook from dried – 4-7 minutes.
Make the pasta and then distribute it on a floured baking sheet/plate/tray and sprinkle it with flour. If you have it, it’s best to sprinkle it with semolina flour, as this will help stop the pasta from sticking together when you’re cooking it. If you don’t have it, just dust very lightly with regular plain/all-purpose flour instead. Time to cook from frozen – 3-5 minutes.