Homemade Pasta Dough

Making pasta at home can be a lot of fun and yields that soft, tender pasta that you find in good Italian restaurants.

And if you judge the complexity of a recipe by the number of ingredients, then pasta should be pretty easy to make. The base recipe consists of just eggs, flour and a little salt. And then you find out that you can use AP flour, Italian “00″ flour, semolina, or a combination of each. And what about the eggs? Whole eggs, just the yolks, or a combination? Is it really that complicated? No. The good news is that there are many ways to make pasta and all are pretty simple and forgiving. You just need to pick a recipe and go!

I have tried a number of fresh pasta recipes and settled on this one because it yields a soft, flavorful dough. I also like how the yolks add a distinct yellow color to the finished pasta (I use eggs from cage free chickens and find that they have a deeper yellow yolk color). I often use this recipe to make lots of ravioli that I freeze for later use, so feel free to cut the ingredients in half the first time around.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound AP flour (about 3-3/4 cups)
  • 9 egg yolks
  • 3.5 ounces milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Instructions:

1. Add flour to bowl of a Kitchen Aid mixer. Make a well in the center of the flour and add the egg yolks, salt and olive oil (Note: you may want to reserve about 1/2 cup of the flour to see how the mixture comes together and then add it in as necessary).

2. Using the dough hook, stir mixture until it just comes together, about 1 minute. Most recipes have you mix the ingredient on the counter, but I have found this method to be much cleaner and easier.

3. Dump the dough mixture onto a lightly floured clean counter or cutting board. Begin kneading the dough with both hands, using the palms of your hands to work the dough in a forward motion. Continue kneading the dough for 10-15 minutes. It should be moist but not too sticky.

4. Wrap the dough with plastic wrap (I double wrap it to retain the moisture) and let it rest for at least 30-45 minutes at room temperature. Dough can be made up to one day ahead (refrigerate up to 24 hours; bring to room temperature prior to rolling).

5. Cut the dough into quarters, re-wrapping the unused portion, and begin rolling the dough through the pasta machine starting at the widest setting. Fold the pasta into thirds and run it through the widest setting 4-5 times, re-folding each time.

You should feel the pasta softening as the machine continues to work the dough. Sometimes the dough looks choppy or seems to tear as it goes through the machine, but don’t get discouraged. Continue to feed it through the machine and it will come together. As it does, move the dough to the next setting (#2) and then the next until you get to the desired thickness (#5 for me!).

Pasta can be used to make ravioli, tortellini, fettuccine or whatever you want! Here is how mine looks on the way to fettuccine.

This recipe comes from a chef named Davide Megna of Amici Miei restaurant.

 

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