Nick Bell says the secret to making good pasta dough is to use 00 (double zero) pasta flour as it is finer than ordinary flour, and to make your dough as elastic as the recipe requires it to be. His rule of thumb is to use 1 medium egg per 100g 00 flour – this will give a firm dough that works well for long pasta such as tagliatelle, pappardelle and spaghetti. If you want to use the dough to make shaped pasta such as ravioli or tortellini, you need more elastic dough because you’ll need to pull it into shape without it shrinking. Eggs add elasticity to dough so to use this pasta recipe for ravioli or tortellini add another yolk to this quantity of dough.
The other important factor in making good pasta dough is to make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature. You can roll and fold the dough by hand but a pasta machine will make things easier.