Depending on where you are in Italy, pasta dough is made slightly differently. Some places use flour and eggs, some flour and water, and some even add a little olive oil. However, the most common and basic way to make pasta dough involves mixing together flour and eggs. That's it!
Basic Pasta Dough
Ingredients (for approximately 1 pound of pasta):
-2 1/4 cups flour
*Basic rule of thumb when making pasta: You use 1 egg for every 3/4 cup of flour. So if you want to make larger or smaller batches, the recipe can easily be adjusted. The portions that I gave above is plenty if you are cooking for 2-4 people and there will usually be some leftover!
On a clean surface, measure out all of your flour, and make a weld in the center. Lightly whisk the eggs with a fork and add to the center of the flour. Slowly and carefully mix in a little flour into the eggs. Be careful not to break the wall of flour holding the eggs. Once the eggs have mixed with enough flour though, you can break the wall.
If making a larger batch, you can also just use a kitchen aid mixer if you have one. I usually always mix it myself though.
Once the dough comes together (it is okay if the dough seems a little "rough"), wrap in plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
After the dough has rested, unwrap it and roll out chunks of the dough one at a time. Now, here is where things can get messy and you need to use your muscles. I ALWAYS use my pasta roller because it makes life so much easier. However, if you do not have a pasta roller, that is okay. It will just take a little longer to roll out and you will give your arms a great workout (see my products/store page to see the roller I have)!
If using a pasta roller, using a lot of flour on the machine and dough, run the dough through the roller at a wider setting the first few times. After each pass through, fold the dough in half. Only do this the first few times. Then, slowly change the settings on your roller to thinner settings. It depends on the type of pasta you are making (i.e. spaghetti, ravioli, lasagna, etc), but your pasta roller should come with instructions on which setting is used for each type of pasta.
Sheets of pasta after being rolled
Once your pasta is all rolled out and you have thin sheets of dough, let it stand for a few minutes. This will allow the pasta to dry slightly before passing through the machine to cut into spaghetti or fettuccine etc. Do not let the pasta sheets dry for too long though, otherwise the dough will just break when you pass it through to cut.
Once cut, you can let the pasta dry a little more if you wish, just make sure there is enough flour sprinkled on the dough to prevent sticking. I usually make the dough and cook it right away though.
I hope you give this homemade pasta a try and enjoy!