There is nothing as satisfying as a homemade meal and nothing as personally satisfying as making something from scratch that you normally purchase. Making pasta or noodles is a great way to branch out into homemade food and a great skill to add to your old-fashioned skills bank.
Its not difficult to make pasta but it can be time consuming until you learn how to do it well.
You can use all-purpose flour for pasta or for a heartier noodle, use whole wheat. Whole wheat noodles are great in hearty soups.
Remember that the thinner you can roll your dough, the better your noodles will be when you cook them. You can dry your noodles and store them in airtight containers or in the freezer for use later.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour – or use whole wheat or other whole grain
1 pinch salt
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon butter (some folks use vegetable oil or you can leave it out all together. It is included just to make the dough very soft)
In a large bowl, stir together the flour and salt. Add the beaten egg, milk, and butter. Knead dough until smooth, about 5 minutes. Let rest in a covered bowl for 10 minutes. If you have a Kitchen Aid or other electric machine with a dough hook, you can definitely use that to knead this dough.
Take the dough out of the bowl and cut it into manageable chunks.
On a floured surface, roll out one chunk of dough at a time to 1/8 or 1/4 inch thickness.
Flour each sheet of rolled dough generously. Roll up each sheet and using a thin, sharp knife, slice off 1/2 inch portions.
Unroll the cut portions into long noodles. Cut the noodles into the length you desire.
Allow the noodles to air dry on the counter top for about 15 minutes before using them. Some people hang the noodles, but I only hang them to dry if they are very long.
If you have a pasta roller, as I do, use it! It can roll that pasta out paper thin if you like.
Dry the noodles completely and store in the freezer in plastic bags for later use.
One of my favorite way of drying and storing noodles is to make “nests” out of the wet, fresh noodles. I let the nests dry and then store them either in jars or plastic bags for use later. You can also use a food dehydrator to dry your noodles. Dry them at 115*F until completely dry, then store as described above.