In the centre of your work space make your fontana: a circular wall of flour to contain the eggs. Use one egg per person. Roughly speaking you’ll be using about 100g of flour for each egg but there is no need to weigh this out. It’s more important to use as much flour as you need to contain the eggs and learn to see from the texture weather you need to add more flour as you go along. Different eggs and different humidity levels in the air will always change the amount of flour you use so “getting the hang of it” is important! Remember the more flour you use the harder the pasta will be.
Make sure the walls of you fontana are compact, wide and high enough to hold the eggs in.
Start by whisking up the eggs with a fork until the whites and the yolks have mixed and then slowly proceed to adding some of the flour that forms the walls of your fontana. If you make sure you always mix the eggs and the flour up well before adding more flour from the walls you will obtain a more homogeneous pasta and it’ll give you less work later when you knead it.
When finally the walls cave in the egg and flour mix should have stopped being predominantly liquid. Make sure to carry on mixing with your fork in circular movements to incorporate everything.
At this point you can abandon the fork and start using your hands
Once the liquid of the egg is all absorbed from the flour you can start kneading it!
You should “roll” the doe into its self rather than fold it and use the weight of your body to press it down each time you do so. If you are doing this right you will feel it in your shoulders rather than in your arms.
Carry on kneading the pasta for fifteen minutes and you will end up with…
Now pack up your doe so it doesn’t dry out. You can use plastic film for this. Our cook Nicoletta prefers to use a clean cloth as this is more ecofriendly and certainly more traditional I might add.
At this point I’m assuming you own a pasta making machine. If you don’t you can either go out and buy one (recommended choice) or you can carry on kneading for another half hour before getting out your rolling pin. This tutorial is going to use the machine.
Take part of the doe, as much as you feel comfortable to start with, and leave the rest wrapped in the plastic film or cloth. Flatten the portion of doe with your hand and sprinkle it with flour just enough to stop it from sticking before putting it through the pasta machine. Make sure the dial on the side of the pasta machine is on 1 which is thickest setting (On most pasta machines the dial works by pulling it out and turning).
The first time you put the doe through the machine you’ll find the sheet of pasta that comes out to be still quite rough. Fold this sheet into three and turn it 90° before putting it through the machine again.
Repeat this process leaving the dial on 1 until the pasta sheet that comes out is smooth. It shouldn’t take you more than three or four times to get the right texture.
Now you can move the pasta machine dial up to 2 and without folding the sheet of pasta you can put it right through as it came out! This part might seem a bit tricky at first but you’ll get the hang of it. Don’t try to go to fast because you might not be able to catch it in time. It’s better to keep turning at a steady but slow pace.
When you put it through number 4 it’ll probably come out pretty long so you might want to cut it in two before putting it through 5. You’ll notice the dial goes up to 8 but for most kinds of pasta 5 is the thinnest you want! When the sheet comes through sprinkle it with flour before moving up to setting number 3. Make sure to do this at any time when you feel it get sticky or it’ll clog the machine
The first most obvious recipe that comes to mind is Lasagna but you can also easily make Tagliatelle using the pasta machine or in the traditional way (by sprinkling the sheet of pasta with abundant flour before rolling it up and slicing into lots of little rolls)
Stay tuned to learn more about what you can do with your fresh pasta along with many more recipes! Or if you wish come and learn first hand!