What I Learned in Italy –  Easy Homemade Pasta Recipe

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If the thought of making pasta from scratch has you nervously rocking in a corner hugging your Foodora app then TRUST ME, you need this. You’ll feel healthier and most likely be inspired to do it a little more often. I’m not saying whip up a homemade tortellini dinner on a Tuesday. Rather, try this simple, easy, homemade pasta recipe.

Before we go on, yes, you do have the time – it’s a surprisingly easy skill to pick up and guess what? It looks really impressive. “Oh this? It’s nothing.” *Dusts flour off cheek a la Rice Krispy Square commercial circa 1989.

This all sparked from my trip to Rome where I ate my way through the city and didn’t gain an ounce. How could a week-long love affair with pasta leave me feeling light as a feather? It wasn’t my Trevi Fountain wish come true, it was the food.

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Obsessing over the scale is not my thing, but a weeks in Italy can make a girl worry a little. After sampling every carb they threw at me I discovered that not all pastas are made the same, and I’m talking about our pasta compared to theirs. An Italian grandmother would hit you over the head with a rolling pin if you served her a North American rendition of Italian food.

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We have to accept that our processed version is full of saturated fats, salts and things that I can’t pronounce. That’s a separate reality from the authentic stuff.

Inspired by the local fare, I decided to see if I could avoid the processed version and succeed at the homemade stuff. 

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour (extra to flour the work area)

2 large eggs

4 yolks of large eggs

1 teaspoon kosher salt (extra for salting water)

*make sure you’re working with a large, clean area

 

1.Pour all the eggs (and egg yolks), and salt into a large bowl with flour. Get your hands in there and mix the the eggs with flour until you’re working with a wet, sticky dough.

2.Scrape excess dough from fingers. If dough feels too wet, add flour in 1 teaspoon increments. If dough feels too dry, add water slowly using a spray bottle. 

3.Place the ball onto a floured surface. Press the heel of your hand into the ball of dough, pushing forward and down. Rotate the ball 45 degrees and repeat. Dough feels firm and dry, and can form a craggy-looking ball, 2 to 5 minutes. Continue until dough develops a smooth, elastic texture similar to a firm ball of Play-Doh. 

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4.Wrap ball of dough tightly in plastic wrap and rest on countertop for 30 minutes.

5. After 30 minutes unwrap rested dough and cut into quarters. Set one quarter on work surface and re-wrap remaining dough. With a rolling pin, flatten the quarter of dough into an oblong shape about 1/2 inch thick.

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6.Set pasta maker to widest setting and pass dough 3 times through the machine at this setting.

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7.Place dough on a lightly floured work surface. Fold both ends in so that they meet at the center of the dough, and then fold the dough in half where the end points meet, trying not to incorporate too much air into the folds. Pass through the rollers 3 additional times.

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8.Narrow the setting by 1 notch and repeat Step 7. Repeat once more (the dough should now have passed through the third widest setting). Continue passing the dough through the rollers, reducing the thickness by 1 setting each time until it reaches the desired thickness. It should now be very delicate and elastic to the touch, and slightly translucent.

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10.Cover dough with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel to prevent drying, then repeat Steps 5 through 9 with remaining dough quarters. Cut dough into 12- to 14-inch segments so the noodles aren’t forever long.

11.To cut pasta: Adjust pasta machine to noodle setting of your choice. Working one dough segment at a time, feed dough through the pasta-cutter.

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12.Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add pasta, stir gently with a wooden spoon, and cook, tasting at regular intervals until noodles are just set with a definite bite, about 1 to 2 minutes. Drain, toss with sauce, and serve.

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Mangia!

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