All my cooking class guests marvel at how easy is to make a fresh pasta dough. I use a food processor and few simple ingredients . The dough is ready in a few minutes.
- 100 gr (4 oz) 00 Italian flour
plus additional for kneading
- 1 large egg
00 flour makes delicate, silky pasta. To obtain a slightly more rustic texture, substitute half of the 00 flour with very finely ground semolina.
In a food processor blend the flour and eggs until the mixture just begins to form a ball. Depending on the size of the eggs, it might be necessary to add more or less flour in order to obtain a soft but not sticky dough.
Alternatively, mix the ingredients on a lightly floured surface, then knead the dough, incorporating additional flour as necessary, until smooth and flexible, minimum 20 minutes. The dough can be used immediately but may be made 1 hour in advance and covered with a cotton tea towel. This resting period relaxes the gluten in the dough and makes it much easier to roll it.
To roll the pasta dough:
Set the smooth rollers of a pasta machine on widest setting. Cut the dough into several pieces. Flatten one piece of dough into a rectangle and feed through the rollers. Fold the rectangle in three and feed through the rollers. Then fold again in half, roll and repeat 3 or 4 more times. Fold each time and dust with flour but only if necessary to prevent sticking.
Turn dial down to next (narrower) setting and feed the dough through rollers without folding. Continue to feed the dough through, without folding, making the space between the rollers narrower each time, until the narrowest setting is reached.
Arrange the sheet of pasta on a dry kitchen towel or large wooden board. Roll out the remaining dough in the same manner. The pasta should dry a few minutes and up to 30 min. before cutting. You should however prevent it from becoming brittle.
Feed the sheets through the cutter and return the pasta to the kitchen towels. It should dry. at least 10 min. before cooking.
Serves 1 for noodles, 2 for ravioli if you are making a small entrée.
PS. Fat changes the texture of the pasta dough by preventing the formation of a strong gluten network. Should you like softer pasta, add a teaspoon of olive oil to the basic recipe. For a richer, eggier flavor but less flexible dough add one more egg yolk and a little flour.