Wild Mushroom Pasta
- 1 ounce dried Italian boletes (porcini)
- 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour or more
- 2 large eggs
- 1 pinch salt
Soak the mushrooms for about 15 minutes in warm water to cover, squeeze dry, and puree. Reserve the soaking water.
Place the flour in a mound on a pastry board. Make a well in the center of the mound of flour. Crack the eggs into the cavity and add the salt. Add the dried mushrooms.
With a fork, mix the eggs, salt, and mushroom puree. Then slowly start to incorporate the flour from the lower part, pushing it under the dough to keep the compacted dough ball intact and separated from the surrounding loose flour. If the flour fails to hold together during kneading, sprinkle some of the mushroom liquid on it. If the dough is too soft, add more flour. After half the flour has been incorporated into the dough ball, start kneading the mass with the palms of your hands.
Lay the dough ball on top of the flour and continue kneading until the ball has absorbed most of the flour. Sift the leftover flour and set it aside for sprinkling during the rolling and folding steps later.
Cut the dough ball into 2 pieces. Repeat the rolling and folding steps with each of these 2 pieces. Turn the pasta rollers to their widest setting, and feed one of the 2 pieces of dough between the rollers. Remove the rollers, and fold the dough into thirds, and press down. Sprinkle with flour and feed through rollers again. Repeat the folding, sprinkling, and rolling 8 to 10 times, until the dough is very smooth. Repeat the procedure with the other pieces of dough.
Adjust the roller setting to a narrower notch, and pass the sheet of dough through only once. Do not fold again. Now move the rollers to each successively narrower notch, passing the dough through each notch only once, until the sheet is paper thin. If you don't have a pasta machine, knead the dough for about 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic, then divide the dough in half and roll each piece to a thickness of 1/8-inch or less. Lay the completed sheet of dough on a floured surface to dry for 15 minutes before cutting, and proceed with the forming of the second sheet.
To cut fettuccine, pass each sheet of pasta through the wide teeth of the cutting section of the pasta machine, or cut by hand into 1/4-inch ribbons.
This recipe yields about 1 1/4 pounds.