Here is one of the essence of Italian cooking. Pasta is always part of the traditional Italian meal and I bet bibliography about pasta could fill up an entire library. It comes in many shapes and forms, many different recipes, variants and personal secrets. The truth is that it’s a very simple recipe, made with basic ingredients. And this truly is the main secret of Italian cooking.
This is my basic egg pasta recipe, you can use it to make Tagliatelle (with Bolognese sauce), Chitarra (with my Lobster sauce recipe), Lasagna Sheets, Cannelloni, Maltagliati (with Pasta and Fagioli are amazing) and many other recipes. If you are lucky enough to have the machine to make Rigatoni and short format pasta, I suggest you to use the white of the fifth egg and add one more spoon of EVOO, to make it slightly softer and more elastic. But this recipe works pretty well with any long format of pasta. Get a large wood slab or a wood table, you’ll need some space to make this.
- 1 lbs Durum Wheat flour or Semolina
- 5 large eggs
- 2 spoonfuls of Extra Virgin Olive oil
- 5 grams of salt
Create a nice little “mountain” with the flour. Dig a hole in the middle and add 4 eggs and 1 yolk (add the whole 5th egg if you are planning any short pasta as Rigatoni or Penne, or if the dough becomes too hard). Add the oil and the salt and gently start kneading the dough. Keep kneading pushing with the palm of your hand until the dough becomes elastic and smooth. You’ll still feel the coarseness of the durum flour. You should keep going for at least 15 minutes. At this point, create a ball with the dough, sprinkle with a little of more durum flour, wrap it in plastic wrap and let it “rest” in the fridge for about an hour. This will give time to the dough to settle down and become even more elastic.
Take the dough out of the fridge, cut a small piece and start laying the pasta sheets. I generally start with the thicker setting of the pasta machine, gradually scaling down to the thinner one, according to the kind of pasta you are making. This time I made Lasagna sheets, I like them very thin, but I would go thicker for Chitarra, one of my favorite formats of pasta. Probably it’s my Abruzzo heritage coming out. I’ll add photos of other shapes next time I make it.