Perfect Pasta Every Time
Perfect Pasta Every Time
Mastering the Art of Fresh Pasta at Home
Our monthly pasta workshops might be on hold for now (“mannaggia!”) but that doesn’t mean you have to go without. Here we reveal the secret to mastering perfect fresh pasta at home. All you need is just a handful of ingredients and a little bit of practice. In bocca al lupo…
Want to learn how to knead, roll and shape like a true Italian nonna? You’ll need a bit of patience while you wait for the ’00’ flour to arrive but these top tips and tricks from our talented chefs will have you mastering two types of dough (classic egg and simple semolina) in no time. For best results, it’s worth investing in a garganelli board online, but you can make three of these shapes without one, so there’s nothing stopping you from getting your hands dirty (except, perhaps, the nationwide shortage of eggs).
Classic Pasta Dough
180g ’00’ Flour
180g Semolina Flour
170g Warm Water
Egg Pasta Dough
300g ’00’ Flour
6 Egg Yolks
60g Room Temperature Water
Either use the traditional method (i.e. getting your hands dirty), or if you have one, a food processor, to combine all the ingredients. Once combined, move to a floured work surface, and knead with your hands until the dough feels smooth and is no longer sticky. At this point you may need to add a tiny splash of water or some flour depending on whether the dough feels too wet or too dry. Place in a bowl or container covered with a lid, and leave to rest for an hour in the fridge.
Unless you’re planning on making cavatelli (see instructions below), roll out your dough on a floured surface until it’s about 1.5mm thick. Now you’re ready to go to work…
It’s time for the fiddly bit…
Cut your rolled out dough into 5cm squares. Position the squares like a diamond on the Garganelli board. Lay the dowel horizontally on the top point of the diamond, press down lightly and roll downwards, curling the pasta around the dowel. Press down just before you finish to seal the lower corner of the rolled piece. Slide the pasta off and repeat with the remaining squares.
Slice the pasta sheet into 1.5 by 1 inch rectangles. Use your index finger to hold the rectangle and pinch the long edges with your thumb and middle finger to form the bow.
Cut the sheet into two lengths to make them easier to work with. Then cut into squares, or using a circular cutter, stamp out circles of dough, and store these under a damp tea towel. Pipe a small amount of your filling onto one piece, then dampen the edge, and seal with another piece, squeezing out any air between the filling and the dough.
Break off golf ball sized pieces from the mass of dough and roll into a rope of 2cm diameter by 30cm length. Cut the rope into 0.5cm pieces. Dust your thumb and using your Garganelli board, press down on each piece of dough whilst lightly rolling up the board and releasing at the end. You should end up with a piece that looks like an ear with ridges on the outside.
Using a piping bag, squeeze out the filling in a continuous line along the length of the sheet, about 1.5cm from the top edge of the pasta sheet. Fold the top edge of the sheet over the filling and press the edges down firmly to seal. Using a pizza cutter, cut away the filled tube from the rest of the pasta sheet along the line where the folded edge meets the rest of the sheet. Then, holding your thumb and forefinger about 3cm apart, push down on the tube creating little pillows. Push the edges down to seal around the filling until you reach the end. Use the pizza cutter to cut between each filled pillow.