This fresh pasta recipe comes from chef Missy Robbins and Talia Baiocchi's new cookbook, Pasta: The Spirit and Craft of Italy's Greatest Food ($35, amazon.com). It uses a whopping 24 egg yolks and the result is a dough with a richer, silkier mouthfeel than one that includes the whole egg. Spend the afternoon rolling with this fun and edible DIY project, and enjoy the feast later in the form of this Fettuccine Alfredo

Martha Stewart Living, October 2021

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Credit: Kelly Puleio

Recipe Summary test

Yield:
Makes 2 pounds
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Place flour on a wooden work surface and create a barricade with a center sanctuary for your yolks that is 5 to 6 inches in diameter but not more. (If you create too much space, your barricade won't be strong enough to hold the yolks as you begin to incorporate the flour.) To avoid any additional risk to your barricade, mix, but do not beat, your yolks before adding them to well. Kick off by adding half of yolks to well and use a fork to incorporate inner layer of flour, stirring in a continuous motion around circumference to combine. Continue adding the rest of yolks, incorporating flour as you go. If you bust through your barricade, not to worry. Use a bench scraper to catch egg mixture and fold it back into flour, doing this at every edge until you have a mixture that is thick enough to contain itself.

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  • Knead: The dough will be sticky at first, so as you work it, continue to remove dough that clings to your hands and return it to the mass. The dough will begin to firm up as the gluten is activated by kneading, but if it feels a touch too dry and is not integrating (this can happen when the environment is drier, such as during the winter or when you're working in an arid climate), add about 1 tablespoon room-temperature water to loosen. Fold dough in on itself, pressing down and away from your body with the heel of your dominant hand. (You can hold the edge of the dough closest to you with your other hand to keep it in place as you stretch it away from you.) Rotate 180 degrees, fold, and press again.

  • Repeat this rotating, folding, and pressing motion until dough is smooth and relatively firm to the touch, 8 to 10 minutes. Use bench scraper to clean off any pieces of dough that clump and stick as you're kneading. Lightly dust board with flour if needed; be careful not to add too much, as it will dry out the dough. When properly kneaded, dough's texture should resemble that of Play-Doh, and it should spring back just slightly when poked. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside at least 30 minutes. (This allows it to become more pliable.) If you're not forming pasta until the evening or the next day, place dough in refrigerator and remove 20 minutes before you plan to roll it out, so it returns to room temperature. Use within 24 hours.

  • Roll and sheet: These instructions assume that you're using a manual sheeter (such as Imperia). If you're working with the Kitchen-Aid attachment or another motorized sheeter, more power to you. It will undoubtedly make your life easier, and the instructions that follow will be more detailed than necessary, though they will still apply. I do recommend, however, starting with a manual sheeter, as it will help you learn to make decisions based on feel rather than prescription. To start, cut your dough into quarters so you're working with smaller, more manageable pieces. Begin with one piece and cover remaining pieces with plastic wrap. Dust board and rolling pin with a bit of flour. Roll dough out to an oval, 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick and about 8 inches long. (You want it to be thin enough to fit through the sheeter's widest setting, but not so wide that it doesn't have room to expand widthwise as it's fed through.)

  • Feed dough through once, cranking with your dominant hand while you very gently lead it through with your nondominant hand. Then fold dough into thirds by bringing one end to middle and then other end over top, as if folding a business letter. Lightly press on top to seal, then feed one narrow end of dough through sheeter again. (What you're doing at this point is essentially re-kneading the dough and making sure there is no extra air in it.) Repeat fold-and-feed at least three times, until dough is smooth and uniform.

  • Decrease setting on your sheeter (to 5 on the Imperia, or 2 on the KitchenAid) and feed dough through again. At this point, the sheet will be long enough to be a bit unwieldy to work with. You can return it to your floured board, cut it in half, and work with only one length at a time, covering length(s) not in use with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap. As the sheet becomes longer and thinner, you will need to handle it with more care. Continue passing sheet through roller and decreasing the setting in this way until it has been passed through at number 6 on the Kitchen Aid (passed through one time) or down to 2 on Imperia (passed through twice). As you work, your sheet may become tacky and require a light dusting of flour; be careful not to add too much, or you'll end up with a sheet that's too dry. Lightly dust with flour and transfer to a parchment-lined sheet tray, layering parchment between each sheet to ensure they do not stick together. Cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and repeat process until you have sheeted your full batch of dough.

  • Lightly dust your wooden work surface with more "00" flour. Line a baking sheet with parchment; lightly dust with semolina. Lay your sheet(s) of dough on the work surface. Use a knife to cut 18-inch-long sheets, removing scraps from unclean edges (save them for soup). Cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel.

  • Place a fettuccine cutter on your hand-cranked pasta machine (such as Imperia) or KitchenAid. (If you don't have a cutter attachment, or prefer to hand-cut, fold one pasta sheet in half and then in thirds, until you end up with a small packet, about 4 1/2 by 6 inches. Position packet horizontally with longer side parallel to you. Trim and discard any uneven edges. Beginning at left or right edge of your packet, move inward and cut 1/4-inch-wide strips; skip step 4.)

  • Holding one end of a pasta sheet with your nondominant hand, gently feed opposite end into cutter and begin cranking with your dominant hand. Keep sheet nearly perpendicular to machine as you crank. As pasta moves through machine, move your nondominant hand under cutter to catch it. (If you are using a KitchenAid, feed with one hand and catch with the other.)

  • Generously dust strands of fettuccine with "00" flour and gently shake to separate. Curl batch into a nest and place it on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining pasta sheets. Let dry 20 to 30 minutes at room temperature. If not using right away, cover sheet with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 24 hours.

Cook's Notes

Adapted with permission from Pasta, by Missy Robbins and Talia Baiocchi, copyright© 2021. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

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