Many of us feel like we can't have homemade, fresh pasta at home without getting a machine that will run the dough through and cut it nicely for us, but nothing is further from the truth. Making your own at home without tools is quite simple, and Cook's Country shows us how.
Let's face it -- pasta has been made by hand for generations, without the need for rolling machines or cutting tools. It may have been a bit more difficult, but there's no reason you can't apply a few modern shortcuts to the process without spending money on kitchen unitaskers. Cook's Country (the same folks behind America's Test Kitchen) note that all you need are eggs, flour, olive oil and salt:
For a pasta dough that could be easily rolled out by hand (but still cook up into delicate, springy noodles), we create a super-malleable dough that doesn't snap back when you roll it. A generous splash of olive oil coats the flour proteins and limits their ability to form gluten so the dough stays more elastic. We also mixed in six extra egg yolks. Yolks are loaded with fat and emulsifiers that also limit gluten development -- but because their proteins coagulate when heated, adding structure, they ensure that the pasta is strong enough to stay intact when boiled. Additionally, we incorporated an extended resting period to allow the gluten network to relax and developed a simple, effective rolling technique (which we outline below).
The full technique, complete with illustrations, is at the link below, although the recipe itself requires a login. (It's very similar to this one at Epicurious.) The technique works with other pasta doughs as long as you use the tips above.
How to Make Handmade Pasta Without a Machine [Cook's Country]