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Fresh egg pasta dough


Makes approximately 600 gm.

You'll need

330 gm plain flour, plus extra for kneading 70 gm fine semolina ½ tsp fine sea salt 4 free-range or organic eggs (59gm each)

Method

  • 01
  • Combine the flour, semolina and sea salt and place on a work surface or large wooden board. The flour should form a peaked mound. With your hand, make a hole in the top of the mound so that it resembles a volcano. This hole needs to be big enough to house the eggs. Break the eggs into the hole. With your hand or with a fork, gently beat the eggs, then slowly incorporate the flour into the egg mixture. I do this by moving my hand in a circular motion, slowly incorporating the flour from the inside wall of the mound. Don’t worry if the dough looks like a mess. This is normal. Once fully combined, knead a little more flour into the dough if it feels a little wet and sticky. Set the dough aside and clean the work space. Dust some fresh flour onto the work surface and continue kneading the dough for another 5 minutes. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and set aside in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Next, roll the pasta to the desired thickness and cut into the desired shape (see “rolling the pasta dough”, below).

Rolling the pasta dough
To roll 600gm of fresh egg pasta dough, cut the rested dough into six equal pieces. Flatten each piece with the ends of your fingers and the palm of your hand, then pass through a pasta machine, starting with the widest setting and then slowly reducing the width. Pass the pasta through each setting at least twice. After about the third setting, fold the pasta and pass it through the machine several more times. Folding helps to create a flat edge to the pasta, and as you fold and pass it through, make sure that the dough is as wide as the rollers. This is especially important when pasta sheets are to be used for baked or filled pasta. Throughout this process, dust the pasta sheets with a little extra flour.

For filled pasta, moist dough is better as it helps when bending and twisting filled pasta shapes. For flat pasta such as pappardelle, tagliatelle, linguine and spaghetti, it is important to dry the pasta sheets a little prior to cutting them, otherwise they will stick together while they are drying or cooking. The drying could take anywhere between five and 45 minutes, depending on the humidity level, air temperature and other weather conditions. Be careful not to allow the pasta to dry out too much as it will break when cut.

Filled pasta should be refrigerated, and cooked and eaten within a day or two. Store with abundant semolina to stop the pieces sticking together, with plastic wrap between the layers.

Fresh flat pasta is also best eaten soon after it is made. Remember, the longer it dries after cutting, the longer the cooking time. My suggestion is to dry it completely on wooden boards if you do not intend to cook it straight away. Dried pasta can be stored at ambient temperature for several weeks.


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Aug 2012

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