By Iron Chef Leftovers
Homemade pasta is one of those things that is insanely easy (with the right recipe) and will impress the crap out of your guests if you make it. It also comes in handy because you can make it with a few ingredients you have at home. I have made pasta completely by hand and it is hard work – mixing and kneading the dough and rolling it out. Taste-wise it is outstanding, but time wise, it isn’t worth it. A few years back, Alton Brown came out with a recipe that significantly cuts back on the time – all of the mixing is done in a food processor. It takes about 3 minutes to make the dough with this process, so you could actually make fresh pasta for a Tuesday night dinner rather than a special occasion.
10 oz. All Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon olive oil
In the bowl of the food processor combine the salt and flour and pulse for 2 seconds to combine. In a measuring cup, combine all of the remaining ingredients and beat lightly. Turn on the food processor and slowly stream the liquid into the bowl, until all of the liquid is incorporated or the dough just begins to pull away from the side of the mixer bowl. If you have used all of the liquid, slowly stream in 1 tablespoon of water at a time until dough is ready (It should feel slightly tacky, but not wet or sticky). Remove from the bowl, give it about 10 seconds of kneading to bring it together and wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours (the longer you refrigerate, the easier it is to work with).
It is hard to describe exactly what the dough should feel like, so you will probably have to experiment a bit with it. Sometimes you need to add a tablespoon or two of additional water, other times you will not end up using all of your liquid, so there is really no exact way to do this. Some fun additions to pasta – a couple of tablespoons of minced spinach or stinging nettles (just make sure you remove as much water as possible), fresh herbs, lemon zest and pepper or hot pepper flakes. Just add them in with the flour salt and pulse to combine.