Until quite recently, my pasta came from a box. Like oatmeal, cheese, and energy bars, pasta requires little thought and preparation. And then one day, I tasted fresh pasta. Made by a real person and a simple pasta machine. And now I know that the best pasta never comes from a box.
Fresh pasta is labor intensive. But the actual recipe is quite simple. Buckwheat flour and white flour mixed in a large bowl. Form a crater in the middle of the flour and fill with cracked eggs. Slowly beat eggs, mixing in more and more flour. You will be left with a smooth and firm ball of dough.
Now for the hard part… the pasta machine.
It would have been impossible to roll the entire ball of dough through the machine, so I started with smaller pieces.
Next I rolled the dough through the machine several times, moving to a smaller gauge with each pass. As you do this, the dough gets thinner, but it also gets longer. Maneuvering can be a challenge, and by the last crank through, I was using the entire length of my arm to support the soon to be pasta.
When the dough was thin enough, I cut it into a linguine shape.
Finally, you must let the pasta dry. If not, you will end up with a mushy doughy mess of wet pasta. There are racks sold especially for drying pasta, but a laundry rack was the cheapest and most efficient option.
I let the pasta dry for about an hour, threw it into a pot of boiling water for a few minutes until al dente and mixed with kale, cheese, and other various flavors.
I am going to brag a little bit–this was the best pasta ever. Better than any restaurant.
The only issue is finding enough time in a day to get through the entire pasta making process.
Notice the yellow melting chunks of cheese? Seconds were enjoyed.