It's popular practice today for kitchens to focus on culinary traditions and heirloom techniques, and these days, chefs spend a lot of time extolling the virtues of slow produce and agriculture. But what about those prepared goods that are an essential component in our everyday meals, like ketchup, or pasta, or cheese?
That's why I'm starting a new series, Make Your Own, where I'll show you how to make homemade gourmet versions of ingredients that you normally but at the grocery store. My first project is pappardelle pasta. It's a crucial part of Italian cuisine, and the fresh version, with its toothsome bounciness, tastes worlds apart from the commercially packed, dried version. To see step-by-step photos and learn how to make it yourself — no pasta maker necessary! —
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 cup semolina flour, plus more for dusting
6 large eggs, at room temperature
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Make the dough: Sift both flours together on a large work surface and make a well in the center. Place the eggs, olive oil and a pinch of salt in a bowl, then pour into the well; with a fork, break up the eggs, then gradually mix the wet ingredients into the flour mixture just until combined.
- Knead by hand. Gather the dough into 2 equal-size balls; flour the surface. To knead each piece, push the dough away from you with the heel of your hand, fold the dough over itself and turn it counterclockwise. Continue pushing, folding and turning until the dough is smooth and elastic, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Rest the dough. Pat each piece into a ball. Flatten slightly, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight. (You can freeze 1 ball for later, or roll out both and freeze the cut pasta.)
- Roll out the dough. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and dust with flour. Starting in the middle, push away from you with a rolling pin, easing up on the pressure as you approach the edge. Continue rolling the dough into a sheet, turning occasionally, until you can see your fingers through the bottom. Let dry about 10 minutes.
- Cut the pappardelle: Dust the top of the sheet of dough with flour and loosely roll it into a cylinder. Using a sharp knife, cut into 3/4-inch-wide slices.
- Unwrap the noodles; dust with semolina and gently toss to separate. Place on a sheet pan and cover with a tea towel until ready to cook (or freeze in freezer bags for up to 2 months).
Makes about 20 ounces pasta.
- Pasta, Main Dishes