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Homemade pasta is fairly simple to make if you have a food processor and a pasta roller/cutter, and is a good way to get children into cooking.
To make the dough put the flour and egg into a processor and run the machine until the ingredients form a fairly firm dough. If there are dry crumbs, add cold water, a few drops at a time. If the dough feels sticky, work in more flour, a tablespoon at a time. Turn the dough out onto a floured plate and leave to rest for 5 minutes while setting up the pasta machine.
If you are using dough made with more than one egg you will need to knead and roll the dough in batches. Set the machine with the (plain) rollers at their largest, widest setting. Form the portion of dough into a thick square then feed it into rollers – don’t worry if it crumbles for the first couple of times, but if the dough starts to stick or tear or form rough ridges at any time dust it with a little flour.
Fold the rolled dough in three to make a thick square again and feed it through the rollers with one of the open ends first. Repeat this folding and rolling about 6 times more until the dough feels and looks silky smooth and elastic. It is now ready to roll; adjust the machine so the rollers are one notch smaller apart then feed through the strip of kneaded dough (you don’t need to fold it any more). Adjust the machine again on the next narrower setting and feed the dough through. Continue in this way, adjusting the rollers one notch at a time, until the dough has been rolled through the machine through each setting to the lowest or smallest. At the end the dough should be in one very long silky fine strip. Leave the dough to dry for about 10 minutes until it feels leathery but not firm and hard – the best way to do this is to hang it from a wooden rolling pin or rod (a wooden clothes drying rack works very well) or over the edge of a table.
When ready to cut, fit the handle into either the fine or the wider roller cutter then feed the dough through. Use your other hand to catch the strips as they emerge – you may find it easier to put a floured tray or board at the end of the machine to collect all the odds and ends. Gently hang the strands of pasta to dry as before or on a tea towel dusted with flour. The pasta is ready to cook once it feels firm – about 10 minutes, while the water comes to the boil - but is best left to dry for an hour or so and used the same day. Thoroughly dry pasta can also be stored in a covered container in a cool larder or the fridge and used the next day. Cook in a large pan of boiling salted water until al dente – almost tender – 2 to 5 minutes depending on the thickness of the cut pasta. Drain thoroughly then toss in a little olive oil before serving immediately.