July 12, 2016
David Rocco’s Fresh Pasta Dough
For basic pasta, you need only two ingredients: eggs and flour. But I also recommend adding a little olive oil. It adds a bit of flavor. In my family, we make about 3 1⁄2 oz. (100 g) of pasta per person. I make the pasta right on the counter like my nonna, no bowls necessary.
Yield: Serves 6
1. Pour flour onto counter. Use hands to make little well in middle. Crack eggs into well. Add oil, if using.
2. With fork, beat eggs. Use fork to start pulling flour into center with eggs, a little at a time.
3. When eggs and flour begin to come together, put fork aside and use hands to finish mixing dough.
4. Gather dough and start kneading, using palms of hands to push dough away, then roll it back toward you. Keep going with push-and-pull motion to build elasticity in dough, about 5 minutes, until dough is a nice cohesive, shiny ball. (It’s ready when you can push finger into dough and dough springs back.)
5. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and let rest in fridge 30 minutes.
6. Dust work surface with a little flour.
7. Cut off piece of chilled dough about size of tennis ball. (To keep dough from drying out, cover parts you’re not using with damp towel.) Use palms of hands or rolling pin to flatten it. Roll dough through pasta machine several times to produce nice thin sheets.
Tips For Using A Pasta Machine
– To put pasta through pasta machine, flatten dough with palms of hands or rolling pin until about 1″ thick. Sprinkle flour on each side. With rollers on widest setting, run dough through machine. Fold dough into thirds, like a pamphlet. Press lightly to flatten and roll through machine again, open side first. Repeat three times. If dough sticks, dust very lightly with flour.
– Keep working this way (but no longer folding), running dough through pasta machine on increasingly thinner settings. Use hand to guide pasta out end of machine so that pasta doesn’t stick to itself. It’s thin enough when you can see outline of hand through dough. When desired thickness is achieved, you have two options. If using machine to form pasta, choose attachment for desired shape. A pasta machine will make any kind of long pasta. Or go full nonna, and cut pasta into long strips by hand with knife.
– If cooking pasta immediately, lay out on damp towel so none of strands touch each other, and cover with another damp towel. If saving pasta for later, let dry 30 minutes, making sure strands don’t touch, then store in airtight containers or resealable bags up to a few days in the fridge or longer in the freezer (pasta can be cooked straight out of fridge or freezer).