3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fleur de sel (or other flaky or semi-course salt) (you could grind kosher salt - that would work)
cornmeal for dusting finished pasta so it doesn't stick
Instructions: (I used a Kitchen Aid mixer. You could do this by hand, but why?):
1) Put all ingredients EXCEPT the cornmeal in the mixing bowl. Mix on speed 2 for 30 seconds using the regular flat beater attachment.
2) Switch to dough hook. Mix on speed 2 for 2 minutes.
3) Knead dough by hand on counter, folding dough over, gathering it into a ball, pushing it down with your knuckles and the heels of your hands.... it's a great workout. Do this for 10 minutes.
4) Form dough into a ball and cover with saran wrap so it doesn't dry out. Leave it at room temperature for 30 minutes. Have a glass of wine! ;)
5) Cut dough into 4 equal pieces. Take one piece to work with and re-wrap remaining dough in plastic wrap so it doesn't dry out.
6) Use your pasta machine to get dough to desired thickness. Cut pasta using pasta machine.
7) Put a thin dusting of cornmeal on a baking sheet. Place cut pasta on the baking sheet. Dust top of pasta with cornmeal, lightly.
8) You can dry pasta for 10 minutes by hanging it over the back of a chair or using a pasta drying rack. Whatever floats your boat.
9) This recipe makes 1 lb. of pasta, so continue to work through the remaining 3 quarters of dough making pasta, and when you have enough drying for dinner, take the remaining sheets of pasta after they are cut and dusted with corn meal and coil the strands into a nest. You can freeze the pasta nests wrapped loosely in waxed paper and gently placed in a ziplock bag for up to a month.
10) To cook the pasta, have a LARGE pot of salted water, rapidly boiling on the stove. Add the fresh pasta and stir it a little at first to prevent the pieces from sticking. Fresh pasta cooks in 2 minutes. Drain it, and add sauce. Do NOT rinse the pasta if you plan on using it immediately. The starches help the sauce stick. If your sauce isn't ready as soon as the pasta, rinse the pasta gently in cold water in a collander so it stops the cooking process and the noodles don't stick to each other. You will have to reheat it later with the sauce.
There are 2 kinds of pasta machines - the hand crank kind, and the kind I used that consists of attachments that you screw onto your Kitchen Aid mixer. If you already have the mixer, it's cheaper to get the attachments and much easier so you have both hands free and don't have to use one hand to crank. The Kitchen Aid pasta attachments come with instructions for using the attachments, too; and with any pasta machine, you want to start running the dough through setting "1", and work your way number by number all the way to either 7 or 8 (one of the thinnest settings). You will want to cut the sheets of pasta as you get them thinner and thinner so they are more manageable to work with and not 3 feet long! :) A sheet of pasta should be about 1 ft long before you attempt to run it through the pasta cutter attachment. If it's longer than that, cut it, or you're going to have a hard time threading it through the cutter.