- Yield: Makes about 1 pound of dough
Photography: DAVID M. RUSSELL
- 2 cups 00 flour, plus more as needed
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- Scant 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Pinch of sea salt
Mound 2 cups of the flour in the center of a large wooden board and make a well in the center. Beat the eggs, oil, and salt together in a small bowl, and pour them into the well. Using a fork, begin incorporating the flour into the eggs, a little at a time, working from the outside edges. The dough will come together and be lumpy, but don't worry. This can also be made using a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Be sure to add eggs one at a time and blend after each addition, before adding oil.
When the dough becomes too stiff to mix with a fork, or it comes together in the food processor, dust your hands with flour and begin kneading it. Sprinkle more flour onto the dough and knead until it is no longer wet and sticky. Once it becomes smooth and somewhat stiff, lightly flour the board and continue kneading for 3 to 5 minutes more, until the dough becomes elastic. Knead it for 4 more minutes, always dusting the board and your hands with flour, if necessary. Divide the dough in half, flatten it into small rectangles of a size to fit through a pasta machine, wrap in plastic wrap, and set aside for 1 hour at room temperature to rest.
Using either a hand crank or an electric pasta machine, adjust the rollers to the widest setting. Working with one rectangle of dough at a time, feed the dough through the rollers. Remove and lightly dust with flour. Fold the strip into thirds, flatten it with your fingertips, and pass it through the machine at least twice more, or until the dough is very smooth and the edges are even, lightly dusting each time. Once the pasta is silky and smooth, do not flour it.
Adjusting the rollers to ever-narrower settings, continue rolling the dough until it is as thin as needed, usually the last or next to last setting. As the strips become increasingly longer, take care not to pull or stretch them, the easiest way to hold the strip is to drape it between your left thumb and forefinger while cranking with the right hand.
Cut the strips into 18-inch lengths. After rolling the pasta on the narrowest setting, cover the strips with a clean cloth and let them rest for 30 minutes to an hour, then roll twice more through the narrowest setting. For spaghetti, change the rollers to cut the sheets into the size you desire.
If not cooking the pasta immediately, spread it on clean, dry towels and lightly dust with flour, tossing to separate the strands, or hang it over a pasta drying rack or kitchen chair. Repeat with remaining dough.