Penne pasta is a type of Italian noodle that is tube shaped, with diagonally cut ends. When produced by machines, it also has ridges down the sides. Though pasta originated in China, it was the ancient Romans who first made it using flour and water. By the end of the 19th century, millions of Italians had emigrated across Europe and the UK, bringing with them their long history of pasta making, including the penne noodle.
Prepare the dough
Make a mound of the flour on a large wood cutting board. Using your fingers, create a well in the middle of the flour mound. Crack the four eggs and one egg yolk into the well and add olive oil. Mix with a fork, beating the eggs and oil first and gradually adding in flour from outside the well.
Push the flour from the bottom to the top of the mound while mixing to shape the dough. Using the palms of both hands, knead the dough. Continue until the dough has an even texture and is elastic.
Remove the dough and add flour to the cutting board. Knead the dough by hand again for about six minutes.
Place the dough in cling film and allow it to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Make the noodles
Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out on a floured cutting board. The dough should be about 2.5 cm thick and shaped like a square or rectangle.
Beat the egg with a fork until completely smooth. Chop the dough into 3.5 cm squares with the knife.
Hold one of the dough squares while brushing beaten egg onto one corner.
Lay the clean pencil on the opposite corner of square. Roll the dough square diagonally back around the pencil. Push down on the pasta once it is completely wrapped to seal the shape. Slide the pasta off the pencil.
Repeat with the remaining dough.
To keep dough from sticking to your skin, grease your hands with oil before kneading.