easy, no-machine homemade pasta dough

I’ve always thought homemade pasta was more work than I cared to take on. Make the dough, online knead the dough, recuperation cut it, more about feed it into a machine multiple times, then cut again. All that work for a few strands of fresh pasta that I could easily buy at Whole Foods? No thanks. Besides, I try to avoid foods that require special equipment beyond a mixer or food processor. Except for ice cream. I’ll store any machine for homemade ice cream.

So, I don’t want to buy the machine, but I’ve always wanted to at least attempt making my own pasta. I’m such a contrarian. Like when Tom asks me what I’d like for dinner and I’ll say pizza. So, he’ll ask me where I’d like to order from, but I can’t decide or I’m too lazy to pick it up, and we end up eating frozen burritos. It’s a bit like that.

Anyway, back to the pasta. I finally decided to make an attempt, but it would have to be one of those “rustic” pastas that have a more free-form shape. Something I didn’t need a machine or rolling pin to accomplish. Something exactly like Orecchiette. An ear-shaped pasta that doesn’t have to be perfect and only requires one piece of special equipment everyone, or at least most everyone, has handy — your thumb. This dough actually comes together rather quickly (about 30 minutes active time) and requires little of the tedious work associated with fresh pasta.

For Saturday’s dinner, I decided to make giant orecchiette to hold up to the hearty lamb ragu I served over it (recipe later this week). Usually, I’d make smaller shapes if I was pairing the pasta with a lighter sauce. I also used all semolina flour, which makes for heartier, less delicate pasta. You can follow the same method using cake (not self-rising) flour, or half semolina, half cake flour for a lighter texture. I also know that a lot of people use “00” flour for homemade pasta, but I’ve never been able to find it.

If you’ve been wanting to make your own pasta, but don’t have the patience and cabinet space for a pasta machine, definitely give this recipe a go.