Serves 8 (about $.05 per serving)
OPTION: To make whole-wheat pasta, use equal amounts of whole-wheat flour and all-purpose flour.
1. Pour flour into a bowl and make a well in the center. Break eggs into the well and beat them together with a fork, then stir the eggs into the flour from the bottom of the well until the dough in the center is smooth and shiny.
2. With your hands, incorporate the flour from the outside into the center, kneading gently until the mass of dough is consistent, but still soft.
3. Continue to knead until the dough is smooth and resilient. You may need to add more flour if the dough is sticky or very pliable, or you may not incorporate all of the flour.
4. Divide dough into two portions, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for at least 30 minutes before putting it through a pasta machine.
5. Begin rolling one portion of the dough through the machine at the widest setting of the rollers (usually “1”).
6. Fold in half and run it through the widest setting another time or two. Always put the non-folded side into the machine when adding folded dough. If the dough feels wet or sticky, dust it lightly with flour before running it through the machine.
7. Advance the rollers a notch and put the dough through the machine without folding. Continue rolling the dough once through each setting without folding.
8. The final setting of pasta machines varies. The ideal thickness for cannelloni, fettuccine or lasagna is about 1⁄16 inch (the last setting on some machines, the next to last on others).
9. When the pasta is the desired thickness, cut the long sheet of dough into lengths that will be easy to work with (6 to 12 inches is about right for many noodle shapes). Flour both sides lightly.
10. Run the sheets through the desired cutter and set the pieces of cut pasta on a smooth, lightly floured surface so that they do not touch.
11. Roll and cut the remaining portion of dough.
12. Let dough rest at least 15 minutes while you are getting the water ready to boil in a large pot.
13. Add fresh noodles to boiling water; cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
14. Drain and toss with 1⁄3 of the Dried Tomato Pesto or Fresh Tomato Sauce.
Donna Frawley, owner of Frawley’s Fine Herbary ( www.frawleysfineherbary.com ), has written two cookbooks: The Herbal Breads Cookbook (Frawley’s Fine Herbary, 1994) and The Edible Flowers Book (Frawley’s Fine Herbary, 2004).
Click here for the main article, Pasta Party: Make Homemade Pasta .