3 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. lukewarm water or milk
Put flour on flat surface or in bowl and form a well
deep enough to hold eggs. Keep sides high enough to prevent
eggs from running out. Break eggs into well. Add other
ingredients. (For heavier pasta, meant for stuffing, add milk
instead of water.) With small wooden fork or whisk, beat eggs
lightly, beginning to pick up a little flour from inside well
with fork or whisk. Keep adding flour until eggs are no longer
runny. If dough is too sticky to handle, add a little more
With your hands, bring all flour from outside of well
toward center and make a ball with the dough. After some
mixing, dough will be soft. If still sticky, pick up between
your hands and mix further. Put ball of dough on flat surface
and, with heel of hand, push down firmly into center. Give
dough a slight turn, and push down again. Knead for 10 to 12
minutes. Dough should be smooth and satiny and not tough.
Once dough is kneaded into smooth ball, cover with bowl or tea
towel and let rest for about 15 minutes. Divide in half, if
too large for space you have to roll it out.
Dust a clean surface lightly with flour. Put ball of
dough on surface and, with rolling pin, begin to flatten by
rolling forward first and then backwards away from you. With
each roll, rotate dough 1/4 turn, so that it opens into a
regular circle. One way is to curl the forward edge of dough
around rolling pin, and roll it away from yourself, or to curl
back edge around and roll it away from yourself, thus stretch-
ing dough. Use a heavy rolling pin and work on a patterned
surface. Roll dough out thinner and thinner until you can see
pattern on surface through dough. If you let dough stay too
thick, it will take longer to cook and will not be tender.
To make fettucine or any of the string pasta, roll pasta
sheet up tightly as you would a jellyroll. Hold roll with one
hand, and slice to desired thickness with the other, being
careful not to smash roll. When you are finished, open out
noodles with both hands and put them on a lightly floured towel
to dry for several minutes. You may want to substitute corn-
meal for flour.
Cooking The Pasta:
Use a large vessel and a lot of cooking water. General-
ly, allow 4 quarts water to 1 pound pasta. Heat water over
high heat and bring to a rolling boil. Boil water for several
minutes before putting in pasta. Add 1 tablespoon oil as water
approaches a boil, to help separate strands of pasta. This
also helps keep cooking water from boiling over. When water is
at a rolling boil, add approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons salt for
every 4 quarts water. Put pasta in all at once. Stir immedi-
ately and frequently with wooden fork. When strands are fully
separated, stop stirring continuously, but do stir every minute
After a few minutes, take out a strand of pasta and test
it. "Al dente": means firm to the bite, and is the way Ital-
ians eat pasta. Remember that even in the draining process,
the water is so hot that once the pot is removed from the
stove, the pasta is still cooking. Even while putting the
sauce on it, it is still cooking.
Do not run pasta under cold water. Put in colander;
shake colander to remove as much liquid as possible and return
to pan in which it was cooked. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons butter,
then toss lightly and sauce it. Overcooking pasta destroys
texture, so make sure it is "al dente". Pasta waits for no
one. As soon as it is cooked, drained and sauced, serve it!
Yield: 7 to 8 servings, 1 1/2 pounds.
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