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Fresh egg pasta

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Fresh egg pasta

1 kg of tipo 00 flour/farina di granaro tenero
10 of the best and freshest large free range eggs you can find.
Extra tipo 00 flour (or plain flour) for dusting.

How to make Fresh egg pasta
This is quite a large batch. I had to use a whole 1 kg packet of flour at a time because I don't have a weighing machine at the moment. I don't mind because then on my Pasta Day I make a huge batch which I freeze and use when I need it. Also good because it's a bugger to clean the pasta machine.

As you can see though it's pretty easy to adjust the amounts to whatever amount of pasta you want, as they are sort of in a 1:1 ratio. 150g feeds one person so 600 g will serve 4.

The basic pasta dough can be left overnight. It also freezes very well. It may turn a very dark brown but don't be alarmed. It's only on the outside and once you roll it all out it will turn back into an eggy yellow colour.

There is no salt in the pasta because salt is hygroscopic. It will tend to make your pasta soggy and flabby. Better to simply salt the boiling water well.

It's actually surprisingly easy to make. I thought it would be very messy but it isn't, either.

Lastly, the recipe is pretty much from "Cook with Jamie" by Jamie Oliver. I looked at a few pasta dough recipes and felt this was the best.

Place flour on a huge table (or a huge bowl). Make a well in the centre and crack eggs into center. Using a fork beat the eggs. Bring the flour into the beaten eggs, little by little until the mixture gets so thick you're not in danger of having eggs spilling all over the table. Start using your hands (flour them) and bring all the flour in.

Knead till elastic, sproingy, smooth and silky. Kneading developes the gluten in the dough.

Wrap it well in clingfilm and leave in fridge to rest for at least 30 mins.
Cut off about a fist-sized piece of dough. Leave the rest well covered in the clingwrap so it doesn't dry out. Start off with a smaller lump if you are unfamiliar with pasta rolling.

Dust with flour and pull it into a roughly rectangular shape. Squish one end thinner so it can be fed through the machine. Run it through the widest setting, then the second widest. Fold it in half and run it through widest setting, then second widest. Do this 3 or so more times until smooth and silky. This helps to work the dough and also give you a chance to neaten up the ends!
After that work you way down through all the settings to the narrowest. Lightly dust the dough as you go to prevent stickage.

Now to neaten up the ends. Fold the ends together, then fold lengthwise again and again until you have a roughly squarish package. At the widest setting, feed it through with the edge-that-used-to-be-the-sides first, so you end up with nice straight sides.

Work down through all the settings again. For pappardelle, tagliatelle and lasagne you'll want something thicker (my machine has 7 settings and I stop at 2) and for ravioli and other stuffed pastas it's setting 1. Flour the finished products well!! It would be a pity to go though all that and then find they all stick together because you've been a bit stingy on the flour...

In my photo I've cut the pasta into rather wide pappardelle type strips. I was going to use it in a chunky tomato sauce and felt the more robust size would help add to the rustic feel of the dish.