1/2 c semolina flour
1 c all purpose flour
3 eggs, 1 whole and 2 yolks (you can use 2 more yolks and little or no water for a richer, yellower pasta)
2 T olive oil
1-3 T water
Dash of salt
The amount of water you use will vary. It’s mainly used to adjust the consistency of the dough. The dough shouldn’t be too wet that it’s sticky or too dry that it falls apart. When I first started making pasta in Tuscany, Chef Matteo would get on me for making it too wet. The dough becomes “wetter” as you knead it and work the ingredients together. He’d also tell me not to squeeze the dough with my fingers when I kneaded it. “You only use this part,” he’d say as he rubbed the bottoms of his palms.
1. Combine the two flours together and mix with your hand. There’s really only one way to make pasta. And that’s by hand. You have to be able to feel it. Your hands are going to get sticky and you’re going to get wet egg on them. But I think that’s the best part. It’s like playing in the mud as a kid.
2. Form a basin in the center of the dough.
3. Add in the eggs, oil, salt, and 1 T of water. Make your fingers rigid, almost like a claw, and start making small circles with your hand to mix the dough. Add additional water if necessary, but remember what I said before. If your flour “dam” broke and you’re frantically trying to hold everything together before the egg drips off the counter, it’s ok to transfer it to a tub or large bowl.
4. When the ingredients have formed a mass, transfer to a lightly floured surface, preferably a wooden table.
5. To knead it, push a section of the dough out with your palms, then fold it in half on top of itself, rotate it 90° and repeat the process until it’s completely smooth, about 5 minutes. Really put your body weight into the dough. If you are one of those people, who aren’t selling tickets to your gun show, get on the balls of your feet and push down.
6. Wrap with plastic and refrigerate for 30 min-1 hr.
At this point your pasta dough can be shaped into just about anything. If you run it through a machine (or roll it really thin), you can use the sheets for lasagna. You can take those sheets and cut them by hand to make, tagliatelle (strips). Or you can use a pasta machine attachment to turn it into fettuccine or capellini. Alternatively, you can skip the machine entirely and cut off tiny strips from the dough, about the size of a french fry, and roll them out by hand to make pici (thick noodles). These are just a few ideas. With over 600 different types of pasta, this post could get pretty long if I kept going…
If using a machine, cut off a portion of the dough and flatten it with your hand. Run the dough through a pasta machine, starting with the thickest setting and working your way to the desired thinness, notch by notch. Make sure to flour the dough each time and gently toss the noodles in flour after you cut them. Boil in salted water to cook. And finish with your favorite sauce.