Phaidon’s Upskill Sessions- How to make Fresh Egg Pasta
Self-isolation isn’t an end to self-improvement. Use this time to master those skills normal life got in the way of
You, like many, may find yourself in the house with a little more time on your hands, thanks to the Coronavirus. It’s rough for some, but it can be an opportunity too, for a little self-improvement, especially when it comes to culinary skills.
We’re pulling together edited extracts from some of our most useful, informative cookbooks, to offer you a guide to making some fine gastronomic basics which may have evaded you up until now.To start off with, let’s try fresh egg pasta, as featured in that most totemic of Italian cook books, The Silver Spoon Classic.
“People often have a preconceived idea that making pasta at home is an intimidating process and requires highly developed and sophisticated cookery knowledge,” explains the book. “On the contrary, pasta is deceptively easy to make and requires only a few basic ingredients—the most important being top-quality fresh eggs.”
Here’s what you’ll be needing: 2⅓ cups/300 g all-purpose (plain) flour, preferably Italian type “00”; 3 eggs; ½ teaspoon olive oil.
Sift the flour into a bowl or into a mound on a pastry board, make a well in the center, and break the eggs into it. Beat them with a fork, then add the oil and ½ teaspoon of water. Work in the flour, starting with the inner surfaces of the well. When the eggs and flour start to form a soft dough, work the mixture with your hands to make a ball. Knead for 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Wrap in plastic wrap (clingfilm) and rest for 30 minutes.
To roll by machine, cut the rested dough into four. Press each piece into an oblong about 4 x 2 inches/10 x 5 cm. With the rollers at the widest setting, feed the pasta into the machine. Repeat, gradually reducing the space between the rollers, until the pasta is the required thinness.
You can also roll out the pasta dough using a rolling pin. Place a ball of dough on a lightly floured work counter and roll it out, turning the circle of dough 45 degrees after each rolling until you have a thin, uniform disk. You can now cut the sheet of pasta dough into the desired shape.
For a more detailed version of this recipe, as well as much more besides, order a copy of The Silver Spoon Classic here.