Pasta Fresca - Basic recipe for fresh pasta
The standard recipe for fresh pasta calls for 1 egg to every 100 g (31/2 oz/scant 1 cup) of ‘00’ flour. However as eggs differ in size a little experience is required to judge whether you need a little more water to soften the dough or a little more flour to stop it sticking. You only want the dough dry enough for it not to be sticky.
Makes enough long pasta for 4 as a main or 6 as a starter
© 2021 Katie Caldesi / Hardie Grant Books · Reproduced with permission. · Venice by Katie & Giancarlo Caldesi (Hardie Grant, £25.00) Photography: Helen Cathcart
Pour the flour into a mixing bowl and make a well in the middle. Crack the eggs into the well. Using a table knife, gradually combine the flour into the eggs starting with the flour around the eggs and working your way out. Keep mixing the egg and flour until they form clumps of dough.
Use the fingertips of one hand to incorporate any remaining flour bringing everything together until you have a ball of dough. Try to squash all the crumbs of dough into the ball, but discard any that don’t make it. Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a floured work surface. Knead the dough by flattening and folding it for around 5–7 minutes, adding a little more flour if it is very sticky. Do this until it stops sticking to the palm of your hand. The dough should form a soft but firm ball that bounces back to the touch when prodded. If the dough becomes really dry and has many cracks add 1–2 drops of water – do this in a bowl or food processor to rescue it.
Leave the pasta to rest covered in plastic wrap for 20 minutes or for up to a day in the fridge. It is now ready to go through a pasta machine or to be rolled by hand.