Fresh Pasta by Trattoria Bel Paese
Executive Chef George Joseph
- 2 cups flour
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- flavor/color variations
Mound the flour on a clean work surface. Hollow out the center making a well in the middle of the flour with steep sides.
Break the eggs into the well. Add the salf and olive oil to the hollow center and gently mix together with a fork. Gradually start incorporating the flour by pulling in the flour from the sides of the well. As you incorporate more of the flour, the dough will start to take shape.
With your hands or a bench scraper, continue working the dough until it comes together. If the dough is too dry, add a little water or beaten egg. If too wet add a little flour.
Begin kneading the dough and keep kneading until it becomes smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. At this point, set the dough aside, cover it with plastic, and let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes. You can store the dough in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours, but allow to return to room temperature before rolling out.
Divide the pasta dough into four even sections. Keep each section covered in plastic wrap or a clean towel while you work with each one. Flour the dough, the rollers of a pasta roller (or your rolling pin), your hands and the work surface.
If using a pasta machine: Flatten 1 of the dough pieces between your hands or with a floured rolling pin until it forms a thick oval disk. Dust the disk, roller and your hand with additional flour. Flour a baking sheet to hold the rolled out finished pasta.
With the roller on the widest setting, pass the pasta though the machine's rollers a few times until it is smooth. Fold the dough over into thirds and continue to pass through a few more times until the pasta is smooth again. Begin adjusting the pasta machine settings to become thinner, passing the dough through a few times at each setting.
Flavor and Color variations:
all color additions should be added to eggs before incorporating into the flour. Add a bit more flour to the recipe to compensate for the additional liquid.
Spinach: blanch 8 ounces spinach leaves. Puree in a food processor until smooth. Press the puree through a small strainer, removing the liquid before mixing with the eggs. Add 3 tablespoons of the spinach puree to the eggs before mixing.
Tomato: add 2 1/2 tbsp tomato paste to the eggs before incorporating.
Herb: Mince 1/2 cup fresh herbs anad add to eggs before incorporating.
Squid Ink: Add 1 tbsp squid ink to the eggs before incorporating.