A relaxed friendly hands-on cooking holiday in the Dordogne, France
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Recipe - Fresh Pasta

We teach this fantastically simple recipe for fresh pasta on our cooking course in France...

The image of an Italian housewife making a batch of fresh pasta every day is, somewhat sadly, a bit of a myth. Most of the time Italian cooks use dried pasta just like we do, but every now and then, for a family get-together or special occasion, fresh pasta is made.

It's not difficult, but you do need to set aside some time: kneading, rolling and cutting stiff fresh pasta dough takes quite a bit of stamina, too, so buying a pasta machine makes a lot of sense. It might be hard to justify the expense, though, if you are only going to use it once or twice a year (how many cool-looking pasta machines do you think are lurking at the back of kitchen cupboards, slowly gathering dust after their brief initial outing?)

Traditionally, fresh pasta is made with durum wheat flour, but this is often hard to find, so I just use good old plain flour. Try, also, to use good quality fresh free-range eggs and a decent olive oil.

Serves four as the basis for a main course


  • 300g (12oz.) plain flour
  • strong bread flour or durum wheat flour
  • good pinch of salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


Tip the flour onto your work surface and sprinkle over the salt. Make a well in the centre and pour in the eggs and olive oil.

Now go in with the tip of a fork bringing the flour into the eggs until you have a stiff, but not too sticky dough.

Using your hands, adding a sprinkle of flour to prevent sticking, knead the dough for about five minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic. Wrap it in clingfilm and put to the side to rest for an hour.

Cut the dough into four pieces, retain one, then re-cover the remaining three. Squeeze the dough into a rectangle roughly the same width as the pasta machine and dust with flour.

Set the rollers to their widest setting, then pass the dough through. Fold into three and pass through again.

Repeat this three or four times, then start sending the sheet of dough through on progressively finer widths until you reach about number five (2mm).

Now, either use the pasta just as it is for lasagne, or pass through the tagliatelli, or spaghetti rollers. Take the thickness down to number 3 (1.5mm) for ravioli.

Drape the pasta over the handle of a suspended wooden spoon and allow to dry for ten minutes or so before cooking.

Remember: fresh pasta takes only two or three minutes to cook, and the end result won't be al dente like the dried variety.


























































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5 Day/5 Night Cooking Courses Include:

  • Expert hands-on tuition with British chef

  • All courses conducted in English

  • All cooking ingredients, equipment and aprons

  • A continental breakfast each day

  • Lunch each day

  • Dinner
    (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday)

  • Tea, coffee and wine

  • An evening meal on the day of your arrival

  • En suite centrally-heated accommodation

  • Recipe pack containing all the dishes cooked during your stay

  • Entrance fees to places visited

  • Private and secluded pool

  • Internet and Email

  • Want to be sure? Read our great testimonials

    Some of the things you'll be doing on the cooking course:

    Learn how to cook pastries, breads and soups

    Select and prepare the best fish and shellfish

    Butcher common joints of meat

    Cook classic French and Italian sauces

    Construct modern dressings

    Master the art of stylish contemporary food presentation