Today I had an incredible adventure learning to make pasta from scratch! The Italian Study Center (Arezzo) held a pasta making class this afternoon as a part of Italy week. I have always been curious about the art of homemade pasta, so when I saw this opportunity, I was thrilled! Lucio Bianchi was the instructor for the class, and guided us along as we mixed flour, eggs, olive oil, and salt to create dough. The technique was to form a flour “volcano” and then add the other ingredients to the well in the middle. Some advice Mr. Bianchi passed along was to always use whole wheat flour, because it leads to the best pasta. It was a fun, messy process incorporating everything together – you definitely need to use your hands to get a nice, even dough! Finding the perfect consistency required a trial and error process of adding slightly more olive oil if it was too dry, or slightly more flour if it was too wet.
The next step was to roll out the dough to a thin sheet using a good old fashioned wooden rolling pin. Flouring every surface the dough touched was extremely important, so that the pasta would not end up melded to the table or rolling pin! Once the dough was very flat, we rolled the edges inward to create two tubes, one on top of the other. We then used sharp, circular blades to cut this log into small pieces. This is considered the basic pasta shaping technique.
The final step was to unroll the pieces and marvel at our homemade strips of pasta. Although they were a bit misshapen and were not very uniform in length, they were certainly made with love.
Homemade Pasta Recipe:
1 Cup of flour (or slightly less)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
A pinch of salt