Making Pasta by Machine
When pasta dough is mixed in a food processor, then rolled to paper thinness in a manual pasta maker, the whole process becomes almost effortless.
As usual, the food processor does its job quickly. Monitor the dough at every step. If you donít have a pasta machine, you can knead food processor dough with your hands and roll it out with a rolling pin as shown in steps 2, 3, and 4 on the previous discussion. However, the hand-cranked pasta machine is relatively inexpensive compared to most home appliances and small enough to store out of sight when not in use. If you make pasta often, it might be a sensible purchase because it takes almost all of the work out of kneading and rolling.
Start at the lowest setting, with the rollers wide apart; usually two passes through each setting will be enough. If the sheet of dough feeds through the rollers easily and looks smooth and silky, almost rubbery, without rough spots, turn to the next setting. If you really have to crank hard, go back to a wider setting. Continue until the dough is the proper texture and thickness, usually 1/8-inch thick.
Processing Dry Ingredients
Place flour, salt, and eggs in the work bowl of a food processor. Cover and process with a pulsing action until the mixture is the consistency of cornmeal. This happens very quickly, so donít overprocess.
Put water, oil, and any other liquid in a measuring cup with a lip. With the processor running, slowly pour the liquid through the feed tube into the work bowl. The flour mixture will begin to form a cohesive mass.
Forming a Ball
Continue processing the mixture just until the dough forms a ball. Stop once or twice to scrape down the sides of the work bowl so all the ingredients are incorporated into the dough. Remove from the work bowl, cover, and let rest 10 minutes.
Kneading in Pasta Machine
Divide the dough into 4 portions or as directed in the recipe. Cover unused dough or freeze (see Storing Dough). Flatten one portion and feed through the rollers at the widest setting. Fold in half or thirds, give a quarter turn, and run through the same setting. Repeat until the dough is smooth and no longer tears.