…belong to the great classics in the history of kitchen talk. I’m sure you know a lot of those, too, horror tales about sticky doughs and slimy noodles, about burst ravioli and tagliatelle firmer than rubber gloves. Like any cook, I’ve gone through some dark pasta valleys myself, with mixed results ranking from world-class down to rubbish over years. Nowadays though, I’m completely zen (as the French say) when it comes to preparing a decent pasta dough. The secret? I leave most of the work to my kitchen robot who delivers perfect results within seconds.
You need: 250 grams of fine, white wheat flour and 2 eggs, nothing else. Just pour the two ingredients in your robot’s bowl and let the knife rotate happily. The dough is still too sticky? Add half a tablespoon of flour. Is it too crumbly? Add a spoonful of water. Proceed until you have what you need: a homogenous mass, not too firm, not too wet nor too dry, you know the deal or you better feel it: pasta making is an emotional thing, nothing can be done strictly by the book here.
Once your “machine dough” is sort of ready, get it out on a wooden plank (or a table) and knead it with your hands for another 5 minutes or so. When correctly mixed and done, it will feel good, it’ll feel alright, ready-to-go, somewhat Italian. Form it into a ball, wrap it in plastic film and let it rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes and not much longer than an hour. After that, you’ll need one of these heavy, flashy, yet quite cheap Italian machines like my “Imperia”, bought in lovely Arezzo once, or was it Perugia?, anyway: with a little help from you it does the rest, the rolling (7, 8 times going thinner and thinner until you could read a newspaper through the pasta!), then the cutting (which could be done with a knife, too). The rest is eating; the proof is in the pasta.