Then it’s on to choosing your ingredients. The only thing any pasta recipe always needs is flour and water, because this is how gluten is created – and it’s gluten that gives pasta its wonderful soft-yet-chewy texture and bite. To make perfect gluten-free pasta from scratch, try this three-ingredient recipe from The Loopy Whisk.
But there are many different variables for making pasta. There are different types of flours, recipes with eggs and recipes without, and questions about whether or not you should add salt or olive oil.
Choosing a pasta type
In Italy, there are three main types of fresh pasta: pasta all’uovo (egg pasta), which uses flour and both the egg white and yolk; pasta al tuorlo d’uovo ( egg yolk pasta), where only the egg yolks are used; and pasta bianca (pasta without egg), which uses water instead of egg.
Egg pasta is the most common type of fresh pasta and works well for filled pasta. Try this recipe by Pasta Evangelists to make traditional egg pasta.
Egg yolk pasta makes a rich, deep-yellow dough that’s higher in fat and works well for strong pasta noodles. To make egg yolk pasta, try this recipe by Pasta Et Al.
Eggless pasta is used to make shapes like orecchiette, strozzapreti, and long pasta, and is ideal if you’re vegan or watching your cholesterol. To make eggless pasta, try this recipe by Alpha Foodie.
Choosing your flour
In terms of flour, there are also three main types of wheat flour that are usually used. These are semolina flour, all-purpose flour, and Tipo 00 flour – which is finely milled flour with a powdery texture, and can be bought in large supermarkets or Italian delis.
While in Italy 00 flour is traditionally used, you can ultimately use any of these flours, and if you have all-purpose flour in the cupboard, you can start pasta-making right away. To find out more about the different types of flour you can use for pasta, check out this article by Pasta Evangelists.
Deciding whether to add salt and olive oil
Salt is also added to most fresh pasta doughs. Though, if you’re watching your sodium intake, you can leave this out. If you’re making egg pasta, there’s no need to add olive oil, as it may make your pasta mushy. However, if you’re making eggless pasta, a dash of olive oil works really well.
To see how to make perfect egg pasta – and be taught by an Italian food guru! – have a watch of the video below.