Making your own pasta is a labour of love. Sarah Tuck's pasta dough recipe is failsafe and the results are well worth your time and effort.
300 grams ‘00’ flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon polenta/cornmeal
3 large eggs
Mix together the flour, salt and polenta then mound onto the bench. Make a large well in the centre of the flour. Whisk the eggs and pour into the well. Use a fork to continue whisking the eggs while incorporating flour from the inside edges of the well as you go, until half the flour mixture has been drawn in. Use your hands to bring in and combine the remaining flour and knead into a smooth dough.
Knead for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth, elastic and springy. You may not need all of the flour, any leftover can be sifted for use when rolling out. Dust lightly with flour, wrap in plastic wrap and leave to rest at room temperature for an hour.
When rested, unwrap the dough and knead lightly for a few minutes. Divide into 3 pieces and cover 2 pieces with plastic wrap while you roll out the first piece using a pasta machine.
Start at the widest setting and roll the pasta through 3-4 times, dusting with flour as you go and folding the pasta into thirds each time.
Then continue without folding, reducing the setting on your machine each time until you have a long wide piece of pasta. I stop at the second-to-last setting, number 6, on my Atlas machine.
Repeat this process with the remaining pieces then cut into the desired shape or use for lasagna or tortellini. If not using long pasta immediately, spread on a tray, dust with a little flour, cover and store in the fridge for up to two hours before cooking. Fresh pasta cooks much faster than dried and will only take a few minutes in a large pot of boiling salted water. Makes 400 grams
Cook’s tip: If you want to make filled pasta, add an extra egg yolk to the basic pasta recipe above as it gives a softer dough.