Walter Potenza

Aug 1

My grandmother Algisa never used a pasta machine. She lived in Virginia for some years, and then returned home to Abruzzo. She used to say that while in the States, her neighbors were mesmerized by the simplicity of the freshly made pasta she often shared with them. As in all things that appear simple, there is a talent that allows it.

Making pasta at home is a great way to try to eat healthily and genuinely, with pure and natural ingredients. You only need very few ingredients, and preparing it is relatively simple.

Need: one long rolling pin, large wooden pasta board, or granite counter. Do not use stainless surfaces for pasta making.

A homemade fresh pasta recipe

Making pasta at home is a very productive, economic, and satisfying activity. An all-Italian tradition, handed down by our grandmothers, who kept the cut pasta for the whole week along with homemade country bread wrapped in cotton pillowcases.

Algisa’s fresh egg pasta recipe

The most popular homemade pasta is undoubtedly egg pasta. You can prepare it with very few ingredients without the help of the pasta cutter and keep it in a cool area for the whole week.

Enough pasta for four guests, as a side portion

One pound of 00 type flour

Five whole eggs and one yolk

One teaspoon of salt

One teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil

Directions

Arrange the flour on the counter, and make a well in the center. Insert the eggs, one by one, and the yolk. Add the salt and oil and, with a fork, begin to gently beat the eggs, slowly incorporating all the flour, until a smooth and homogeneous mixture is obtained. Flour the work surface and roll out the dough as thin as possible and divide it into seven parts. You want to see the shadow of your fingers against the light. Roll the dough on itself and around the rolling pin. Remove the rolling pin and cut strips of dough about 1/4-inch thick with a knife or hand pasta cutter. Roll out the fettuccine and flour them, to avoid sticking. Continue the process until the mixture has been used. Rest pasta on a large table and cover with a clean cloth. Dry for about two hours.

Suggestion: If you want to reserve whole sheets to make lasagna, you can keep them floured in the fridge without having to cut it.

Algisa’s egg-free pasta recipe

A lighter dough, without eggs, made with water and flour.

Enough pasta for four guests, as a side portion

One pound of 00 type flour

One cup of bottled water

A pinch of marine salt

Directions

The steps are similar to the egg pasta above, but with water instead. Add water to the well a little at a time, and slowly incorporate the flour from the edges. Add the salt, knead for 10 minutes, until a smooth dough forms. Roll out the pasta, and cut in a preferred way.

Cooking homemade pasta

Homemade pasta cooks quickly: once the water reaches boiling, add the pasta. Stir pasta with a wooden spoon, and as soon as it resurfaces, about couple minutes, drain and serve with preferred sauce.

Note: 00 known as double zero is a High Protein +High Starch + High Gluten = hard flour – semolina flour or standard flour – and suitable for bread doughs and most other uses. Available in specialty shops and quality markets.

Thanks for reading. Eat safe and wear a mask! Ciao Chef W

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