The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pasta Class

albacore's picture
albacore

Pasta Class

Pasta Class

I've seen a few different pasta formulations on TFL lately, so I thought I would add my thoughts on how Italian pasta should be made. I'm not a pasta expert, so I'm not calling this a pasta masterclass, but hopefully I'm on the right track. Of course you can make pasta with whatever ingredients and process work for you, but I try and be reasonably authentic...

So there are two main types of pasta in Italy: with egg - found in the North and Rome, and eggless - found in Naples and further South, including Sicily.

Egg Pasta

    A typical recipe is 200g flour, 2 medium eggs, no salt.
    The flour options seem to be quite vague, depending which recipe you look at, varying from low protein (9.7%) Italian 00, through AP to BF. I tend to use the 00 if I have it. Another suggestion which I follow is to weigh out the flour, then remove 2tbs and replace it with 2tbs of semola rimacinata.
   
    Traditionally egg pasta is made by creating a mound of flour, then shaping a well in the middle. Add in the eggs, gently mix them and slowly work in the flour from the outside into the egg mixture. Then knead by hand before rolling.
   
    Very rustic and no doubt purists will say this gives the best flavour, but also very messy and slow. My early attempts to "Kenwoodise" it did not work too well, as I put the flour in the bowl and added the eggs, which did not want to mix with the flour. Then, in a lightbulb moment, I put the eggs in the bowl first, mixed them with the K beater and slowly poured in the flour. As soon as the mixture started to come together, I switched to the dough hook and kneaded for about 5 minutes, then rested before rolling.
   
    You can roll with a rolling pin or a pasta machine. I am fortunate in having the Kenwood pasta roller and tagliatelle cutters and they make pasta life a lot easier - at a price, of course. Of course KA mixers have similar gadgets.
   
    For egg pasta I usually roll to setting 8 twice, or setting 9 once, before cutting.
  

Eggless Pasta 

    Eggless pasta is made with semola rimacinata, and a little salt and water, which should be at a temperature of 28-30C.
    Here is a good recipe for it from Francesco Mazzei


    I made a half sized batch with 500g semola rimacinata. If you have no sem. rim. but have a Mockmill or similar, I've had success remilling standard durum semolina.
    The recipe hydration is only 42%; I found this a little low, even with a mixer, so I upped it to 46%.
   
    I roll out eggless pasta a bit coarser than egg pasta on the Kenwood roller - setting 7 once.
   
Here's the eggless pasta being cut into smaller pieces for rolling, after the 2 hour rest:


Cut tagliatelle drying on the rack:



And here's a finished dish of Pasta Norma courtesy of my daughter (well, I made the noodles!):

Lance

SuziQ52's picture
SuziQ52

Thank you for sharing. Very helpful

albacore's picture
albacore

Thanks SuziQ - glad it was of use. Let us know if you make some pasta!

Lance