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Our Basic Fresh Pasta Dough

Our Basic Fresh Pasta Dough

Fresh pasta dough is always worth the effort. It's a process that can seem daunting at first but once you've bitten the bullet, covered yourself in flour and sat down to your own freshly cooked fettucine, lasagne or ravioli, we're sure you'll agree that the time and effort are so worth it. And, honestly, once you've got the hang of it, it's really not hard at all.

This is the basic pasta dough that we've been using for years. It works for any recipe where you require a rich egg pasta dough - lasagne, any filled pastas like tortellini, ravioli etc and for fresh egg noodles. You'll see that it's actually more of a formula than a recipe, and that by increasing or decreasing the formula you can make exactly the right amount for the servings you require.

Ingredients: (for six servings)

4 large, free range eggs (for their great colour), beaten

400g 00 flour (we like the Tipo brand)

Method:

By hand: Tip your measured flour out onto a clean board or benchtop. Make a well in the centre. Tip in the beaten eggs and begin gradually incorporating flour into the eggs by drawing the flour in and mixing with your fingertips. Keep mixing and incorporating (I sometimes use a stainless steel pastry scraper to help) until you have a complete ball of dough.

By mixer: Tip your measured flour into the bowl of your stand mixer with dough hook attached. Add your eggs. Switch your mixer on to a low speed (unless you like being covered in flour!) and let the dough hook gradually bring your dough together as above.

If you find your dough is not coming together (ie it's too dry) try adding a little water, teaspoon by teaspoon, until it comes together. Be careful; it's easy to add too much. Conversely, if your dough is too wet and sticky, add a little flour.

Knead the dough for a few minutes, adding a little flour if necessary, until you have a firm, smooth ball of dough. Cut the dough into four pieces (a piece per portion as that's about the right size to work with) and form each piece into a flat disk. Wrap three disks in cling film or a damp cloth to prevent them drying out. 

Take the forth piece of dough, lightly dust with flour and proceed to roll it(short end first) through the pasta rollers set to their widest setting. Dust with flour again (use as little as you can as the more you add, the tougher and drier your pasta can become), fold into three lengthwise and roll again at the widest setting. Continue like this until your dough feels smooth and cold and almost like 'plastic'. Cover with a damp cloth and process the other three portions. 

Next, start rolling each piece through the machine again, this time adjusting the width one notch closer each time. Your sheets may become too long to handle comfortably; just cut them in half lengthwise and keep rolling until you get to your desired thickness. We find slightly thicker for noodles, thinner for filled pastas works well for us as a general rule of thumb.

 

 

 

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