1. Beat the eggs with the water, salt and oil.(Purists don't use water or oil, but I find it makes the dough easier to roll.
2. Stir as much of the flour into the liquid as you can, by using a wooden spoon. Put the rest of the flour on the bench, and dump the mix onto it. Work the flour into it by flouring your hands and kneading the dough. You will need to work it for about 10 or 15 minutes till the dough is smooth, glossy and elastic. If you have a mixing machine with a dough hook, then work it at low or 2nd speed, never faster. When you have a smooth, glossy, elastic dough, form it into 4 balls, lightly oil them, and cover with plastic or a slightly damp cloth. Leave space between the balls, as you want them to relax and flatten out
3. I use a sheet of canvas, kept in a bag of flour to roll out, tacked and stretched out on a plywood board. Because the dough doesn't stick to this, I can roll it out very thin. You will find that the dough likes to go in one direction, and doesn't like to go the other way, so you have to alternate directions when you are rolling out. If you are really fighting with it, the dough needed more resting. It won't be great the first time, so practice before you have company.
4. Trim any thick ends, and very lightly dust with cornstarch. Roll the dough up like a rug, and then cut thin diagonals through the roll. Tie a string from one place (not near the door) to another, so you have a 'clothes line'. Put newspaper on the floor under it. Now unroll the strands and hang them over the line to dry. When they are dry, untie one end of the line, and you can slide them off the line onto a tray. This makes a zig zag cut noodle that I kind of like.
5. Cook in boiling salted water with a touch of oil. When the water comes back to the boil, thin noodles are done. Don't cook them in the soup, as it will get cloudy. Just pour the hot soup over them.
nb. Of course, if you have any smarts at all, you will get a pasta machine. The noodles are only slightly better made by hand, but the pasta machine makes them more professional looking, with a LOT less work. with a hand pasta machine, plan to have a helper.
Notes: You can grind basil in a Cuisinart to make the water used in the recipe for a basil pasta. Well washed spinach works well too. You may need to add a bit of water to the greens to get them going. Some people use tomato paste or beets to make red noodles, but I don't care for the taste. For really yellow noodles, use all yolks. Green and yellow is enough for me. Much more on this subject another time.
© 1997, Steve K. Holzinger. All rights reserved.
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