Reserve a couple of tablespoons of flour. Tip the remaining flour onto work surface and make a well in the middle. Be sure to leave some flour at the bottom of the well.
Crack eggs into the well in the flour.
Using a fork (or fingertips) whisk and mix the eggs dragging in a little bit of flour from around the edges.
Keep working with your fork (or fingertips) bringing a little of the flour. Be careful not to break the edge of the well or the egg will escape. The egg should be almost custardy.
Continue to bring in the flour bit by bit until the egg has enough flour to no longer be runny. At the point you can use both hands (with the help of a dough scraper) to bring in the rest of the flour. It will be a shaggy dough.
With two hands, knead and bring the dough together. Add more flour as needed. The dough should not be sticky. If you are rolling by hand do not add too much flour.
Knead the dough for 8-10 minutes or until it is smooth and you feel the change in the dough. Don't omit this kneading.
Put an upturned bowl over the dough or wrap in plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes or so.
Hand rolled pasta
Divide the dough into about 8 smaller portions. Take one portion and keep the remaining dough covered.
Lightly flour your work surface and rolling pin. Form the dough into a rough rectangle.
Roll, lightly flouring as necessary into a long thin strip of pasta dough, stretching and pressing as you go. I like to continue in a long, wide strip. The aim is to have an even thickness. You should be able to see the colour of your hand through the dough.
Set aside on a lightly floured tablecloth to dry for about 20 minutes while you roll out the remaining dough. Turn the sheets over to assist drying.
Using a pasta machine to roll
Cut off a small piece of dough and keep the remaining dough covered.
Lightly flour the machine rollers and the work surface. Set the pasta machine rollers at the widest setting.
Press the portion of dough flat into a thick rectangle and guide through the rollers.
Fold into thirds and pass again through the widest setting. Repeat this 6 to 8 times until the dough is smooth. You may need to flour lightly to stop sticking and tearing.
Don't worry if the dough does tear. Just keep folding and passing through the rollers.
Only when the dough is smooth, start to reduce the settings of the rollers. Reduce just one setting at a time, until you have reach the desired thickness.
Set aside on floured tablecloth to dry for about 20 minutes while you roll out the remaining dough. Turn the sheets over to assist drying.
How to make tagliatelle
When the dough is partially dry but still flexible, roll up into a flat roll and cut into ⅜ (or 1cm). Separate strips and allow to dry before cooking.
If you have the cutting attachment for the pasta machine, pass the semi dried pasta sheets through to cut into tagliatelle. Allow tagliatelle to dry before cooking.
Cooking the pasta
Bring to boil a large pot of well salted water. Drop in the fresh tagliatelle, give it a quick stir to make sure all the strands are separated.
Cook for 1 to 3 minutes. Taste to test for doneness.
Drain well in colander. Toss to remove excess liquid. Don't ever rinse the pasta.
Combine with sauce of your choice.
How to store tagliatelle
Use a little bit of flour or better still, if you have it, fine semolina, to dust the tagliatelle lightly so it doesn't stick together.
Spread it out on a tablecloth and let it dry, checking periodically that it's not sticking.
It should dry quite quickly (in less than an hour, a lot less if the climate is dry).
Then pack it into airtight containers and store in the freezer.
If it's cool and dry, the tagliatelle will keep for a short time at room temperature.
Pasta can be made with all purpose (plain) flour but I prefer 00 which is a fine Italian flour perfect for pasta. I also like to use a 50/50 combination of 00 flour and fine semolina flour. But don't let the flour get in your way of making and enjoying your own pasta. My family only ever used all purpose (plain) flour.
I never add oil or salt to my dough but whole eggs can be substituted with egg yolks for a richer dough.
Once the dough has rested it will feel softer but should be perfectly fine to roll. That's normal. If you have used my preference of a 50/50 combination of 00 flour and fine semolina flour, the dough will be much firmer.
If the dough is too dry, knead in a little water. If the dough is too wet, knead in a little flour.
Please never add oil to the cooking water. This just makes the pasta slippery and the sauce won't stick.
Once drained, I like to return the pasta to the cooking pot along with the sauce to be combined well. Then transfer into the serving bowl.