Guys, homemade pasta is the best. It's one of those things that seems intimidating, scary, and not worth it, but believe me when I tell you that it is actually simple (and cathartic!) once you get some practice.
I'm a long time advocate for making your own pasta, but now I have a new passion: rolling various garden items into the dough! You can use a mix of any edible flowers & fresh herbs that you like/have laying around. I especially love the spiciness and vibrance of nasturtiums, and the deep flavor of dill.
Here's a comprehensive list of edible flowers to get you started!
Homemade Pasta with Edible Flowers
Yield: 4 generous portions, 6 little ones
Total cook time: 2 hours
Flour: 2 3/4 cups, plus more for rolling
Whole Eggs (Large): 3
Egg Yolks (Large): 3
Kosher Salt: 1/2 teaspoon
Edible Flowers/Fresh Herbs (nasturtiums, violets, pansies, chives, parsley, dill, basil, sage): A generous handful
A Few Notes:
Don't have a pasta machine? No worries! You can roll out the dough using a heavy rolling pin & cut it into your desired shapes using a sharp knife. This method takes patience.
Some of your flowers/herbs will separate from the pasta in the water. That's okay!
Dough too dry? Add a tiny, tiny bit of water! Too sticky? Add a tiny, tiny bit of flour!
It's okay if your flowers don't hold their exact shape - think of this as an art project. I find that sometimes it's easier to just break the flowers apart and scatter the petals.
Yes, let the dough rest for the entire hour. Be patient, it'll be worth it because the dough will be much is much easier to roll out.
Don't freak out if the eggs escape from your well - just scoop the mixture back together and keep kneading.
Yes, you can save the pasta for later. After cutting it, leave it to dry for at least 12 hours (but probably more like 24), then store in an airtight container. Make sure it dries completely or it will mold! You will need to add an additional couple of minutes to the cook time for dry pasta.
Pairs Well With:
*Special equipment: Pasta machine + 2 baking sheets
The How To (Pasta Dough)
Dump the flour out onto a smooth surface and create a well in the center. Pour the whole eggs and egg yolks into the center of the well, then sprinkle the salt over the top. Use your fingertips or a fork to gently break up the yolks. Start to draw flour into the center of the well by moving your fingertips in a circular motion. As you draw in the flour, the mixture will start to thicken. Knead until it forms a shaggy dough (about 1-2 minutes). I like to use a bench scraper to press in any leftover bits of flour. If the dough is too dry, add a teaspoon of water. If it's too wet, add additional flour, a tiny bit at a time. Let it sit uncovered on the counter for 5 minutes, then continue kneading it for 6-8 more minutes, until it is very smooth and elastic. Cover the dough with plastic wrap, then let it rest at room temperature for one hour. Dust two baking sheets with flour and set aside.
The How To (Assembly):
Divide the dough into six equal sections (make sure to re-wrap the sections you aren't using in plastic wrap to avoid them drying out). Using a pasta machine, roll each section out until it is very thin and almost translucent - starting at setting 1 (the widest), then working your way up. On my Atlas Marcato machine, I usually go to setting 6. Once they are rolled, lay the sections out on your prepared baking sheets. Dust the tops lightly with flour to prevent sticking. Using the bottom of a glass or your fingertips, firmly press the flowers/herbs into the pasta sheets (they do not have to be completely flat - we’re going to roll them!). Here, you have two options: The first option is to roll the sheets back through the machine two more times, as is. The flowers/herbs will be most beautiful/impressive using this method, but they will be more likely to dislodge when you cook the pasta. The other option is to place a second sheet of pasta on top of the sheet with the flowers (making sure to press out any air bubbles) and roll it back through the machine two more times. With this method, the flowers/herbs will be actually folded into the dough. This will make sure they stay put when you're cooking, but will have less of an aesthetic "wow" factor.
Both methods: Let the sections rest for 10 minutes on the baking sheets, then cut them into your desired shape (using your pasta machine attachment, or a sharp knife). I usually cut mine into fettuccini!
The How To (Cooking):
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil pasta until al dente - 3-5 minutes, depending on thickness. Drain, then toss with your sauce of choice. Personally I love browned butter + sage + parmesan here. Garnish with any leftover flowers/herbs & serve!