Penna How-to: Make Egg Pasta By Hand

Making fresh pasta by hand is one of life's great pleasures. You control the ingredients and the texture. Depending on the altitude and the weather, you may have to adjust the amount of flour or water.


2 1/2 cups flour, plus extra for dusting
4 eggs
2 Tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

Makes about 1 pound


Make a mound and a well. On a clean work surface, pour 2 cups of flour into a mound. Gently make a well with your fingers—it should be large enough to hold the eggs. 

Add the eggs. Crack the eggs into well and add the olive oil. It's a good idea to crack the eggs into a measuring cup first to make sure you aren't getting any shells into the pasta dough.

Whisk the eggs. Working carefully, use a fork to whisk the eggs in the well without mixing in any of the flour. Whisk until the eggs are just mixed together. 

Mix in the flour. 
Slowly pull the flour into the centre of the mound and egg/oil mixture using a fork. Keep going until all the flour is blended and you have a shaggy dough.  

Pull it together. Using slightly floured hands, bring the dough into a ball. If the dough is still sticky, sprinkle more flour over the dough, a little at a time, and mix it in.

The need to knead. Clean the work surface, scraping off any loose dough or residue and sprinkle the clean surface with flour. Turn the ball of dough onto the floured surface and knead until it feels smooth—usually around 10 minutes. Add a bit of flour if the dough still feels too soft or sticky.  

Give it a rest. Shape the dough into a ball by rolling it in a circle with both hands, applying gentle pressure to the bottom until you get a fairly neat ball of dough. Cover the ball with a large bowl and allow it to rest for 30 minutes before rolling on a lightly floured surface. Cut into strips or use to make ravioli.