Is there anything more comforting than a big bowl of carbs?
If there is, I'm yet to find it. Don't get me wrong - a long, hot bath or a glass of wine or a well-worn pair of ugg boots are all pretty great...but carbs are like a big warm hug for your insides. The happiness starts in your belly and just radiates outwards until you're just a blob of happiness in a carb-coma. But that's just my opinion. And I'm not a carb snob, but pasta just really does it for me. Too many people avoid pasta, and carbs in general, in an effort to lose or control their weight and I'm both fascinated and horrified by these weirdos. Pasta doesn't need to be on the banned food list, particularly when it's homemade wholemeal pasta. Master the art of homemade pasta (it's actually really easy) with this basic wholemeal pasta dough.
Now when I say it's easy I really mean it. If you have a food processor it's literally a matter of throwing the three ingredients in together and whizzing til it comes together. A monkey could do that. If you don't have a food processor (just quietly, you're living in the dark ages and you should totally invest in one) you can just mix it by hand until it comes together. This way takes slightly longer but is no more complicated than the food processor version. Plus the awesome thing about fresh pasta is that it cooks in only a few minutes. Hello healthy, speedy, weeknight winner dinner.
I learned this pasta recipe from a pair of Italians so you know it's good. I've called it the 1-2-3 dough before because it's a nifty way of remembering the quantities: 1 tablespoon of oil, 2 cups of flour, 3 eggs. I used a pasta machine to roll out my dough which is a super easy way to do it, but back in my pre-pasta machine days I simply used a rolling pin to roll it out to my desired thickness. Again, this takes a little longer but is still really easy. One important part of rolling pasta is what's called laminating the dough. This means folding the dough up, usually by thirds (so one third of the dough is folded over, then the other end of the dough is folded over on top of that to create a piece three times the original thickness), and feeding it back through the machine. You can also do this by hand, see the picture below for a guide.
How you cut the pasta is up to you. Most pasta machines have attachments for cutting the dough into angel hair spaghetti or fettuccine, however sometimes if I cant be bothered getting the attachment out I'll simply roll up the dough gently and slice into 0.5-1cm wide strips (depending on what kind of pasta I'm in the mood for). You can also leave them big for lasagne or fold them over a filling to make ravioli. However you choose to cut the dough I promise you won't be disappointed. Easy, healthy, comfort food.
Basic Fresh Wholemeal Pasta
2 cups wholemeal flour
1 tbsp olive oil
Pinch of salt
1) Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until the dough comes together. Alternatively, place ingredients in a bowl and mix by hand until the dough comes together.
2) Flatten the dough into a disc then wrap in cling wrap and set aside to rest for 30 minutes.
3) Once the dough has rested, cut the dough into four equal portions. Re-wrap remaining dough and set aside.
4) Sprinkle the dough with extra flour then roll out the dough by hand or using a pasta machine then cut into desired shape.
5) Repeat with remaining dough portions.
To cook: boil a generous amount of salted water and cook pasta for 2-3 minutes or until al dente.
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