Fresh pasta really has a texture that is different than what you'll get out of a box; a fresh pasta is soft, almost pillow like in texture, where as the boxed, dried pasta will give you a firmer texture.
It always fascinates me that there are thousands (hundreds of thousands? Millions?) of recipes that start off with flour, water, and eggs. Depending on how you treat these ingredients and and the few things you add into it, will decide if you get a cake, a bread, a muffin, an eclair, a cream puff or a pasta!
To make today's pasta, you don't need any special equipment, although some tools would make the process easier. If you don't have a pasta roller, you can easily buy one online, for less than $25; however, you don't even need that. If you're willing to put in some elbow grease, you can roll your dough out by hand, to the width of about a quarter!
However, I'm lazy, and I have the equipment, so I just hook it up to my mixer and this process takes about an hour and a half, start to finish! This recipe makes 4 very generous servings, so I will occasionally cut it in half, and it works beautifully.
Before and after hand kneading
After the dough has rested, divide the ball up into quarters; take one of the quarters, roll it in some the the sprinkled flour, and gently squish it with one hand. It doesn't have to be pretty!
Now, assuming you have a pasta roller, you will noticed that on the side of the roller, you will see where you can set the roller to different widths; mine goes 1-8. Always start your roller on the widest width, for me, that's 1. I roll my dough through twice, on each setting, folding the dough over on itself between each pass, ending in 8, because we like a really thin spaghetti. If you like it a little thicker, leave it on a smaller number, but 8 will give you a standard size spaghetti noodle you buy at the store. I roll mine out with my machine on the speed setting 1 or 2, any faster than that and you may tear your dough as it rolls through. If this happens, no problem, just fold it over on itself, and run it through again. Once the roller catches the dough, it will feed itself through, no problem.
This is one of the quarters, all rolled out through the highest setting, 8.
When I say to fold the dough over on itself, this is what I mean, drape it back over on itself, until the two ends meet, like when you're folding a shirt, and you fold it in half so that the two sleeves meet!
Once all of the quarters are rolled out, I cut them down, to make whatever length of pasta I want. I usually cut mine into 12 inch lengths, but feel free to go shorter (or longer!) if you want! Or, you can leave them in sheets and make an amazing lasagna! Or put a filling on them, and make a ravioli...this dough is really versatile!
Now, if you don't have the equipment to cut spaghetti noodles out of this, that is not a problem! Instead of making spaghetti, you can make tagliatelle, which sounds super fancy! Just roll some of the sheets up together, and cut noodles, about 1/2 inch to 1 inch in width. And you have noodles!
Strain, and add your favorite spaghetti sauce! Supper is served!