>Handmade rustic pappardelle

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I love a good rustic, tender, handmade pasta; and, I’ve been craving pappardelle lately – there’s just something about those wide sheets of mini-lasagna-like noodles laden with meat-sauce.  I decided today that I needed to make some, and so I dug my hand-cranked pasta machine out of the storage area in the basement and went to work.

Two cups of flour and three eggs went in a bowl – I like to use this modified well method – makes for a neater mixing space.  I brought everything together with a fork and then turned the loose dough out onto my work surface.
This I kneaded by hand before I started passing it through the machine.
 
It took me a bit longer to run everything through the various stages of the machine because the dough was a little wetter than it should have been to begin with.  I ended up adding 1/4-1/2 cup of flour to the dough in order to make it dry enough to run through the machine without tearing.
I took it all the way down to the thinnest setting (at first I thought this might be too thin, but I’m glad I decided to do it because once it cooks, it puffs up slightly from the eggs).
These sheets I sliced into 1-inch wide noodles and tossed in a bit more flour.
Then I draped them over the edge of a bowl to dry slightly (I don’t have a pasta-drying rack, or even a clothes drying rack).
This is a messy process, but it’s totally worth it.
The texture and flavor of the finished product is so much better than any store-bought pasta you can get.  And, there’s something to be said for taking this process from beginning to end. 
I served it with a quick bolognese (made with a good-quality jarred tomato sauce and ground meat of your choosing).
So tasty, and very easy – also extremely inexpensive in the grand scheme of things.  I highly recommend making your own pasta when you can.
Handmade Pasta
2 cups flour (plus more for kneading)
3 large eggs (I used extra-large, which is why my dough was too wet)
Pinch of salt
1. Place flour in a bowl and make a well in the center
2.  Crack eggs into the well and add salt.  Begin mixing the eggs with a fork and slowly incorporate the flour into the eggs until the mixture comes together into a loose ball.
3.  Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead by hand until it becomes smooth and elastic.
4.  Divide dough into 6 portions.  Begin rolling through the biggest setting on the pasta machine – add more flour if necessary to prevent sticking and tearing.  Run the dough through this setting a number of times – this will continue to work the gluten in the dough, making it more elastic.  When it reaches a reasonable consistency, work it through the increasingly smaller settings on the pasta machine, ending on the smallest.  You may have to cut the sheets in half at some point if they get too long.
5.  Dust the large sheets with flour, fold them in half, and then half again, and cut them into 1-inch wide strips.  Unfold the strips and lay them over a pasta dryer or the edge of a bowl to dry while you do the remaining six portions.
6.  Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan.  Add salt to the water once it boils.  Add the pasta to the salted boiling water and cook it until it floats to the top and looks slightly puffed.
7.  Serve with the sauce of your choice.
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