Supple and full, biting into fresh pasta is like biting into a bottom lip. Sold? Yes, it’s a bit of an effort, but pressing palms into soft dough as you push and extend is an addictive release.
This is how we like to do it.
Makes 6 to 8 servings
Note: You can use equal parts semolina and all-purpose flour in this recipe.
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for work surface and adjustment
5 large eggs, at room temperature
Extra-virgin olive oil
On a clean, dry work surface, combine the flour and 1 teaspoon salt. Form the flour into a hill, then create a well in its center. Add the eggs and a drizzle of oil to the well and begin vigorously stirring them, breaking the yolks and mixing them with the whites.
With the fork, quickly and steadily begin pulling the flour into the eggs, making sure no lumps remain – remember, steady. Continue doing this until the flour and eggs are completely incorporated. Use a bench scraper to gather any scraps and press them into the dough.
Begin kneading: use your palm to gather the dough towards you, press it into the table, rotate, and repeat. Essentially, you want to shape the dough into a ball as you knead.
Making pasta, like making pie dough and bread, is highly tactile. The more you make it, the more you’ll understand its texture. It will start smooth and pliable, then begin to get sticky (add a bit more flour at this point – you want to keep the surface dry enough to be able to knead, but don’t go crazy), then a bit rough and tough, like a muscle after you’ve been on the stairmill for a few minutes, then it’ll become smooth and terse like Hollywood starlet’s well-trained bum. The whole process will take about 15 minutes.
Set the dough aside and cover it with a dish rag that has been dampened and extremely wrung out. Allow it to rest at room temperature 30 to 45 minutes.
Set up your pasta roller (I use a traditional hand-cranked one) and adjust the knob to the widest opening. Cut the dough into 4 pieces and pat each one into a rectangle about ¾-inch thick. Crank the dough through the machine twice. Adjust the knob one setting down and repeat the process. All you’re doing is thinning it out, one level at a time. Eventually, your dough will be a long, thin sheet.
At this point, you can use the attachment on your pasta maker to cut the dough into fettuccine strands, but I prefer a thicker noodle. To make the tagliatelle, fold the dough onto itself, almost as if you were making a wide jelly roll, then cut it crosswise with a knife into 1-inch thick ribbons. Unspool them and set them aside on a lightly floured sheet pan.
Store the pasta, refrigerated and tightly wrapped in plastic, for 2 to 3 days, or eat immediately. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and cook pasta about 4 minutes until all dente. Drain. Serve with a drizzle of good olive oil or a knob of good butter and Maldon salt.
Stay tuned for our lobster tagliatelle recipe in the coming weeks!