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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Fresh Pasta Dough

Basic pasta dough isn't as difficult as it may seem.  The hardest part for me is rolling it out.  We don't own one of those fancy pasta machines, though I think we will be considering getting one for the future.  I don't not have the upper body strength needed to roll the dough very thin, but Andrew came up with a great technique- pulling the dough away from you while rolling with a rolling pin. (Or a wine bottle if you need some "encouragement" while straining rolling!) 
You can make spaghetti, raviolis, fettucine, etc. easily with this recipe!  The dough can even be dried and still taste fresh.

Basic pasta dough
based on the recipe in: jam it, pickle it, cure it by Karen Solomon

3 to 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out
1 tsp. salt
4 large eggs
1 Tbsp. olive oil

In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt.  Shape a deep well in the middle of the flour; it should look like a volcano.  Crack the eggs into the well and add the olive oil. 

Using a fork, slowly beat the eggs and oil, stirring it into the flour.  Keep incorporating the eggs into the flour until it is too stiff to mix with the fork.  Using your hands, and mix until a sticky dough forms (add more flour or water, if necessary). 
Once the dough has come together, turn it out onto a well-floured work surface.  Knead until the dough is somewhat elastic and it no longer cracks and crumbles while being handled.

Dampen a clean kitchen towel or paper towel and wrap the dough.  Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Unwrap the dough and divide into 4 equal pieces.  Roll each dough, one at a time, about 1/8 inch thick, keeping the work surface and rolling pin well floured.  Cut or use a pasta machine to make the desired shape.

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