Though this is not a quick project, it's totally worth the effort. It tastes incredible, it's easy work, and it's also a ton of fun to make with kids. (If nothing else, bookmark it for your next lazy summer day, or snow storm, because I'm sure you always have a little flour and water on hand.)
As you may note in some of the images, this recipe, my version, also requires some serious patience AND a glass of wine for the adult who will be supervising, and left scrapping dough of the cabinets, windowsills, and ceilings, long after the happy, full child has gone to bed.
You can serve this with your favorite sauce. Here, we ate it with bolognese, how could we not? But that recipe is a beast in itself, and takes several hours to make alone, so I'll link back to that another day, when I'm no longer out of wine. (Note: you don't need a pasta machine to make this, either. Read on below.)
2 cups of all purpose or semolina flour, plus some extra, to keep dough from sticking
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Mound the flour in a wide bowl or on a large, rimmed flat board or tray.
Make a small hole with kid's fist in the center, like a volcano, and, mixing together by hand, slowly add 1/2 cup of warm water. (Yes, this is HAND made, in the actual sense).
Add salt and 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and keep mixing until well combined, adding a drizzle more water or another tablespoon of olive oil if dough feels too dry. The goal is to form a ball which is no longer sticky to the touch. (See photos). If your dough is too sticky, add another small handful of flour to make it more dry.
Once dough is formed, kneed well for about 10 minutes.
Cover and let stand for 20-30 minutes.
Working with 1/4 of the dough at a time, flour a flat surface and roll it out to about 1/4-1/8 of an inch thick using a rolling pin. (Kids love this!)
Then, feed the dough through the pasta machine several times, working your way to a thinner and thinner strip of dough. Use flour to keep dough from sticking to machine parts. (We did this just once or twice on the first three settings. We did not follow the crazy-making instructions on the machine, because we are only almost 7, and also almost out of wine).
If you don't have a machine, don't worry. Simply roll the dough out to about 1/16 of an inch, and cut it into desired shapes either with a knife or a pizza cutter. (You can also at this point decide to make ravioli.)
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and dust the cut pasta with flour as you set it on, in batches, to prevent it from sticking together.
To cook, bring a large pot of water to a boil, add some salt, and toss in pasta for just 3 or 4 minutes, until done.
Drain and toss right into your sauce or over other ingredients, like greens and cheese, and serve immediately.