To say I was nervous about making homemade pasta would be a gross understatement. I put it off for as long as I possibly could, and judgment day loomed large. I had the KitchenAid attachment, 4 ingredients (flour, salt, eggs, and beets to color it), and I was (not) ready to go.
I’m being completely honest when I say I shouldn’t have worried at all. It turns out pasta dough is really forgiving. You put two cups of flour and a teaspoon of salt in a food processor or stand mixer (you can also do it by hand) and mix in three eggs (in the version I made, I also added 1/2 cup of beets that I’d baked in foil, pureed, and then squeezed in cheesecloth to get as much liquid out as possible); the dough is ready when it transforms into a ball. The beets made the dough a tiny bit trickier—it was stickier than a normal dough—but not terribly so; I just added flour, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough didn’t stick to the sides anymore. Then I let it rest for 30 minutes in the fridge before I proceeded with the recipe.
I rolled the dough out by hand until it was roughly in the shape of a rectangle, being sure to use a lot of flour as I rolled to reduce sticking. Then I fed it through the pasta roller a bunch of times, folding it in half in between each roll. Once it started to take good form, I stopped folding it but kept rolling, and when it got nice and thin, but was still pliable (you’ll know), I fed it through the cutter. I chose fettuccine and it seriously felt like magic, the way it just became pasta. WHO KNEW?!
Once the pasta is cut, it can stick together, so I quickly sprinkled it with flour and separated the strands; I draped them over clothes hangers (I live in a NYC one-bedroom; I do not have pasta drying racks) until I was ready to cook. The strands got a three-minute bath in boiling water and then—fresh pasta! I tossed it with garlic, olive oil, crushed red pepper, and cauliflower—not only was it beautiful, it was totally delicious (and no, it didn’t taste like beets; this may excite or disappoint you, depending on your preferences). And I really will make it again (and not freak out beforehand).