An easy, basic, fresh pasta dough...


Genuine Italian cooks always use fresh ("homemade") pasta unless they are so pinched for time that they must, as a last resort, use dried ("store bought") pasta.

The benefits of fresh pasta are numerous: much lighter and tastier, cooks faster, yields better "pasta water," and certainly is more nutritious since no preservatives are added.


                          The Motley Monk's pasta extruder,  "Ms. Regina"                                                  The Motley Monk's pasta machine, "Atlas"


The downside is that making fresh pasta takes a bit of time and is somewhat labor intensive.  The pasta dough has to be made at least one hour before processing it so that it can "rest" in the refrigerator, meaning the gluten in the flour begins to work its magic.  Processing fresh pasta also requires a bit of experience and, depending upon the type of machine used, some heavy-duty, sweat-producing labor.


                                                                                Whisk the eggs, oil, and salt.                        Use a wooden spoon to make a "well" in the center



                                                            The egg/oil/salt mixture poured into the well                             The first stirring develops "clumps"



                                                            Using the heel of your hand, knead the dough                           When dough forms, shape into a log



                                                              Wrap dough in plastic before refrigerating                     After refrigerating, slice the dough for processing


                                                                                                                                   The cooked fresh pasta


All of the effort is extremely well worth it, because fresh pasta is excellent.  In addition, all of the exercise it takes to make the pasta will have burned off enough calories so that the cook can eat a lot of pasta, entirely guilt free!


                                   Chicken a la Gino's on a bed of tagliatelle                                                                          Papperdelle margherita



Bolognese on a bed of fresh vermicelli                                               Chicken breast and wild mushrooms on fresh spaghetti



                                        Osso buco on fresh pasta                                                                              Chicken parmesan on fettuccini noodles


Don't be afraid of making fresh pasta.  It takes only a bit of practice, just as making homemade bread does.  Once you get the "feel" of the dough and get used to how your pasta machine works, it's just a matter of making the fresh pasta dough after lunch, placing it in the refrigerator, and then, "cranking it out" for dinner.  The little bit of work is worth the richness of the reward!



Like the idea?  Here's the recipe:



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