Learning to make pasta in Tuscany

pasta-tuscanyI’ve been getting a lot of requests on how to make pasta after I had the afternoon lesson in Tuscany. I’m going to share the recipe below, but if you can visit Tuscany and learn from a Nona (grandma) like I did, please do. It was a great experience.

After cycling the morning through the countryside and working up an appetite, my tour guide from DuVine Cycling brought us a little villa where a mother and daughter were ready to show us the tricks of making pasta from scratch.

Here is what you will need:

  • 5 eggs
  • 4 cups of flour
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil

Yes, that’s it.

IMG_1313
Instead of bowl, you can do this directly on the board, but if you not experienced, the eggs will get away from you.

Put the flour in a bowl and make a concave center. Crack the eggs into this hole. Then you need to slowly add the flour in from the sides. When adding the flour, do not dig the fork in but keep it horizontal so it skims the top, taking a bit of flour with each stir.

IMG_1314
Adding the olive oil.

Once the flour and egg are combined, it will make a soft dough. Place the dough on the board, and knead it using your palms and adding flour as you go. This is similar to making bread.

Towards the end, to knock out the air pockets, you have to aggressively throw the ball of dough onto the board, knead it again, and then throw in down until it’s smooth and shiny, but not sticky. The dough will be soft so that when you press it, your finger impression stays in the dough for a bit before it returns to normal shape.

Then it’s time to roll out the dough. You do this with a rolling pin, but don’t press down on the pin; let the weight of the rolling pin do the work. This takes time and patience as it would go so much faster if you press into it, but you aren’t making pizza, you are making pasta.

IMG_1315
Stretching the dough. Remember: do not press; caress.

When the dough is half centimeter thick, it’s time to stretch it. This involves carefully rolling the dough over the pin and gently stretching it as it rolls over the pin. Do not press as it will stick together. It’s all about a gentle caress from the center to the outside edges.

Unroll the dough off the pin and do it again and again.

IMG_1317
The pasta dough drying

Once the dough is as thin as a sheet of pasta, you let it dry for a couple of hours.

IMG_1357
Rolling up the dried dough and preparing it for cutting.

When it’s dry, it’s time to cut the pasta. To do this, roll up both ends of the pasta so they meet in the middle and then slice then in as close to equal size as possible.

IMG_1360
Once rolled, cut it into equal pieces.

Unroll and let dry on a board.

IMG_1364

Boil for 3 minutes in hot water.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s