Recipe for fresh pasta with buttered tomatoes

You can make fresh pasta at home without a single egg yolk, nonna or pasta machine in sight. It’s easy, I promise! This style of pasta, with just two ingredients – semolina flour and water – is common in southern Italy. Look up the words “Rimacinata” on your bag of semolina flour. This indicates a finer grind, which is best suited for making pasta. All-purpose or plain bread flour can work in an egg-rich pasta dough, but won’t quite cut it in this leaner version – the resulting pasta will be mushy and waterlogged after boiling.

Using hot water cuts kneading time to just a few minutes, and a brief rest yields dough so silky that all it takes is a rolling pin to roll it over with elastic, translucent sheets. For more accuracy, measure the water after it is boiled and controls the urge to make the dough too wet. It will feel a bit dry, but a quick knead and a short rest in a tightly sealed bag is transformative. When done correctly, pasta is so easy to roll that you shouldn’t even need to flour the surface.

The refined sauce, with lots of late-season tomatoes and good butter, echoes this simplicity. Making the sauce in a large Dutch oven is key so that there is enough room to gently toss the pasta without risking breaking it.

Editor’s note 08/26/2022: This recipe has been updated to reflect the correct amount of semolina flour required for fresh pasta.