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Carluccio’s Pasta Making Tips

Make perfect pasta with these tips from the Italian specialists

Posted: 5 October 2010
by Clay Johnson

We’ve included a recipe for fresh pasta (below). But first, here are some top tips from Carluccio’s to perfect your pasta:

-    Whisk the eggs well before adding them to the flour
-    Don’t add  all the egg at once – add 75 per cent, then add more if needed
-    Knead the dough by hand for 10 minutes or until it is smooth and reaches one colour (ensure the dough does not become brittle)
-    Ensure the dough rests before rolling. It needs a minimum of 30 minutes, but can be rested overnight.
-    When the dough is not in use keep it covered with a damp cloth or clingfilm to stop it drying out.
-    When making ravioli, use water when you want to stick two pieces of dough together. It’s lighter when cooked than egg wash.
-    When cooking pasta, always use plenty of boiling salted water so that the pasta can move freely. Don’t add olive oil – it does not stop the pasta sticking together.
-    Parmesan is a great way of seasoning a dish. It contains salt, so add the Parmesan and then taste to check how salty the food is before adding extra salt.

Fresh pasta
Serves 4

140g (5oz) Italian ‘00’ flour
2 medium eggs, 1 whole and 1 yolk

Pulse the flour in a food processor. Whisk the whole egg and the egg yolk and add to the flour and whizz for 2–3 minutes until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Knead the dough into a ball shape (it should be quite stiff to knead). It should take around 10 minutes. Wrap in clingfilm and rest in a cool place for a minimum of 30 minutes, but it can be left to rest overnight.

Cut the dough into 2 pieces. Flatten each piece with a rolling pin to about 5mm thickness. Fold over the dough and pass it through the pasta machine at its widest setting, refolding and rolling seven times (not changing the setting) until you have a rectangular shape of 7.5x18cm (3x7in). Fold the dough at least four times to give it strength.

Both pieces of dough should have a shiny appearance, as this gives the dough its al dente texture.

Now the dough is ready to roll out for the final time. Set the pasta machine to its widest setting and roll out the dough through the rollers. Repeat this process decreasing the roller setting each time until you reach the penultimate setting. Do not fold the dough.

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