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Cover: Mamma Mia!

12Jun 12

Pasta Dough

Pasta DoughNowadays, when we want pasta, we’re spoiled with choices as we can buy it ready-made either in its dried or fresh form. But the best is when we can make it ourselves! In order to do this fine food justice, you need to take on another of the essential basics for any budding Italian chef: making fresh pasta.

Use this fresh pasta in any of my delicious recipes or with others such as this pasta with chestnut mushrooms and Grana Padano Cream.

Ingredients:

  • 400g Tipo ‘00’ flour (plus a little extra for dusting the work surface)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of fine salt

Method:

1 – Sieve the flour and salt into a bowl. I do it in a bowl instead of a flat surface as I find it easier and a little less messy. Just as we did for pizza dough last week, make a big dip in the top of your ‘hill’.

2 – Break the eggs, either into the hole or a bowl, and beat with a fork till smoothly combined. Then, using your fingertips, gradually work the eggs into the flour. Once it’s all combined into a big ball, knead it thoroughly. Really work the dough, pounding it, stretching it, rolling, folding and recombining it. The initially floury texture should ultimately become smoother, taking on an almost satin sheen.

3 – Divide the pasta into generous fist-sized portions, rolling each into smooth balls and wrapping them in clingfilm. Rest the pasta dough somewhere cool for a full hour. Whatever you’re using right away is then ready for step four. What’s left over can be frozen in sealed plastic bags.

4 – Now it’s time to roll out the dough. If you’ve got a pasta-making machine, simply follow the instructions for making wide thin sheets. I roll mine out with a rolling pin because that way I feel more in control. Dust the worktop with some of the extra flour, and roll out a full fistful of dough at a time, into something as near rectangular as you can manage, aiming for pasta as thin as you can get it, dusting the pasta afresh with each pass.

Technology can speed things up: you could use a food processor on ‘pulse’ to mix your dough. But when it comes to rolling the pasta, whether you go the old-fashioned rollingpin route, or use a modern pasta-making machine, either way will take a bit of time. Just be patient and think of the lovely fresh pasta you’ll have as a result of all your efforts.

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About Gianluca Dievole

My Badge: Assistant

About

Buon' giorno! Welcome to my Italian food blog. I am Italian, and proud of it! Italy has so much going for it: with one foot quite literally in the beautiful Mediterranean, my country’s climate and location give us an amazing cornucopia of ingredients, which is why our culture is steeped in a hearty romantic culinary tradition. My wife and I love our food, so all my recipes are designed for two. If you're cooking for an average sized modern family - perhaps not the traditional extended Italian family - just double the quantities.