Making pasta dough is surprisingly easy and it definitely doesn’t get easier than Mario Batali’s recipe via the Food Network. If you have eggs and all-purpose flour, you’re pretty much set to go for a satisfying handmade meal. But, of course, given my bad luck with working with dough, mine didn’t come out as well as I had hoped. Let’s just say that when a recipe asks for EXTRA-LARGE eggs, you best use extra-large eggs or be prepared for a very dry and unworkable dough and a good upper body work out kneading it. But it wasn’t anything a bit of water and olive oil couldn’t fix…whew! Here are some of my notes on our first try at fettuccine:
Since the only ingredients are eggs and flour, the pasta itself was very plain. Salting the water when boiling it and tossing the cooked pasta in a bit butter afterwards helped to give it some flavour. I’ve seen other recipes also include olive oil and salt directly to the dough. I will probably do that next time.
Using all-purpose flour instead of semolina gave us a very resilient dough, though I’ve read that makes the pasta pale and tasteless (re: above paragraph). It can definitely withstand being handled without breaking or sticking. We still had to flour it now and then, especially when rolling it through the pasta maker, but overall it’s not going to drive you to tears. Even when our cut pasta got stuck together, we still managed to untangle it fairly easily.
Raw pasta dough will thicken while boiling. Once you roll it to a desired thickness, thin it out a bit more.
Working in small portions is best. I’m sure everyone but me knew that.
As expected, the end result was a rather heavy fettuccine with a bit of strange texture. Live and learn, right? With a bit more practise, I think we can master this! Maybe we’ll even do it all by hand and a pizza cutter next time.
Mario Batali’s Fresh Pasta Recipe
from Food Network
Mound the flour in the center of a large wooden cutting board. Make a well in the middle of the flour, add the eggs. Using a fork, beat together the eggs and begin to incorporate the flour starting with the inner rim of the well. As you incorporate the eggs, keep pushing the flour up to retain the well shape (do not worry if it looks messy). The dough will come together in a shaggy mass when about half of the flour is incorporated.
Start kneading the dough with both hands, primarily using the palms of your hands. Add more flour, in 1/2-cup increments, if the dough is too sticky. Once the dough is a cohesive mass, remove the dough from the board and scrape up any left over dry bits. Lightly flour the board and continue kneading for 3 more minutes. The dough should be elastic and a little sticky. Continue to knead for another 3 minutes, remembering to dust your board with flour when necessary. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and set aside for 20 minutes at room temperature. Roll and form as desired.
Note: Do not skip the kneading or resting portion of this recipe, they are essential for a light pasta