Just Eggs and Some All-Purpose Flour


Is there a more universal food product than the noodle?  Are there any cuisines that don’t have some variation on this simple combination of a starch and a liquid?

I can’t imagine making anything that is as rewarding as fresh pasta. It simultaneously manages to be the easiest of items while also inviting a lifetime’s worth of practice, refinement and perfection.

This all came about on a recent weekend where I had more time on my hands for a meal than I thought.  Although the plan was to make a dried pasta dish, the urge to roll out some fresh fettuccine quickly sent me searching for all that I would need:  five eggs, three and a half cups of all purpose flour, my pasta roller and a copy of Molto Italiano

I’m not going to lie.  It’s a bit of work.  And it’s best done with a partner or a motorized roller attachment for your stand mixer, as feeding the sheets of dough through the roller can get dicey if you have less than four hands.  But as long as you roll it out sufficiently thin, you’re likely to end up with a final product that provides a unique texture that you can’t even get from the refrigerated fresh pasta in the supermarket.  Plus, you get to make a giant freaking mess, which is amazingly fun until you have to clean it up.  (My advice…a very large workspace.)

If the taste wasn’t enough…just check out that impressive pile of noodles.  Any time you can exercise a little alchemy and turn two great ingredients into a superlative final product, it’s a rewarding experience.

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  • gansie March 31, 2009  

    have you ever tried to make funky pastas? i just can’t get into all this work unless i funkify the outcome.

  • TVFF March 31, 2009  

    I have to disagree and say the texture is soooo worth it, but that’s fine…it’s a bit of work.

    Funky…not yet. The spinach pasta seems like a good idea, but I see that becoming a watery mess. I’m waiting for the right opportunity to try out the squid ink pasta, though.

  • Maids April 1, 2009  

    squid ink!?! please to explain

  • TVFF April 1, 2009  

    You can see Batali’s recipe for squid ink pasta at http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/mario-batali/black-pasta-recipe/index.html. The book has it listed as one of the variations on the basic pasta dough, along with the spinach and (I think) roasted red pepper.

    I had it once at a restaurant in a frutti di mare dish. The taste isn’t overly pronounced, but the presentation is amazing.

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