Basic egg pasta

Make your own pasta all’uovo – egg pasta – with Mario Matassa’s recipe. It’s the ideal starting point for cooking numerous delicious pasta dishes…

fresh egg pasta

Serves 4
Preparation time 30 minutes, plus resting


• 400g plain flour

• 4 medium free-range eggs


1 Place the flour on a large worksurface and make a well in the middle. Break the eggs into the well, then beat the eggs with a fork. As you do so you will begin to draw a little of the flour into the eggs. This is fine, but be careful not to break the well at this stage or you’ll have a real mess on your hands!

2 Once the eggs are beaten you can continue to draw the flour into the beaten eggs. As you do so the mixture will begin to thicken to a consistency that will eventually allow you to use your hands to knead everything together.

3 Knead the flour and egg mixture until a smooth consistency is formed. This will take up to about five minutes to do properly.

4 Allow the kneaded dough to rest under a tea towel for 20-30 minutes. Don’t skip this part as the pasta really does need plenty of time to rest. It makes it much easier to work with later.

5 After you have rested the pasta, if you are using a pasta machine (which is by far the easiest way to do it and in no way counts as cheating) cut off a peach-sized ball of dough and begin feeding it through the largest setting of the pasta machine. (If you are not using a pasta machine, skip now straight to Step 9.)

6 Fold the pasta sheet onto itself and feed it through again. Keep repeating this step until the dough feels smooth and silky. Don’t despair if the dough seems crumbly and dry, just keep feeding it through the machine and it will come together. If the dough keeps sticking, dust it with flour before each rolling.

7 Once you are happy that the pasta is silky and smooth, lower the width setting and feed the pasta sheet through again. Keep lowering the width setting and feeding the pasta through until you reach the thinnest setting.

8 If you have a special attachment on your pasta machine that allows you to make tagliatelle or spaghetti alla chitarra, feed your sheet of dough through this to cut the pasta. If you don’t, generously dust the pasta sheet with flour and fold it up on itself, then, using a sharp knife, cut strips 1-2cm wide for tagliatelle, 2-3cm wide for pappardelle, or 2-5mm wide for spaghetti. For lasagne sheets, cut the sheets into 10cm lengths.

9 If you are rolling by hand, make sure you have a large enough work surface – you will need a surface at least 1 metre wide and 2 metres long for this much dough, plus a really long rolling pin – double the standard size. Start rolling and continue until the dough is just 1mm thick. This requires patience and elbow grease. It will also make you want to buy a pasta machine!


Click here for more on pasta (plus links to more delicious recipes!)