4 tips from an Italian chef for unfailing fresh pasta

Having time for yourself is an opportunity to take advantage of it to cook. We prepare good little dishes to feel good and why not a simple pasta dish. This time, we prepare the dough ourselves, Italian style. To accompany you: Italian chef Toni Muzi from the Parisian grocery store Eataly.

Varieties of pasta

Many varieties of pasta exist on the market. They are mainly distinguished by their shape: short, long, thin, thick, flat or even twisted. Among these varieties, we find spaghetti, penne, farfalle, macaroni, linguine, or conchiglioni.

Distinguish pasta formats

Long pasta is more commonly found in a pasta dish with Bolognese sauce; short pasta is combined with cheese in macaroni and cheese and wide pasta is served as a gratin.

As for “miniature” pasta, such as farfalline (the “mini” version of farfalle), these small bow-tie-shaped pasta or alphabet pasta, children’s favorite pasta, they fit perfectly into a soup or a soup.

Some pastas are more or less rough and will therefore stick more or less well to a sauce. An element that serves as a clue to guide our choice of seasoning. And yes, each pasta has its own sauce, and each pasta has its own type of dish.

Pasta: to sauce, stuff or stack

Farfalle, fusilli, linguine and any other so-called “classic” pasta are those that are prepared with sauces, such as tomato, parmesan or carbonara sauce.

Then come ravioli or cannelloni, pasta that is stuffed.

Then, lasagna, pasta that looks like very thin sheets, which are stacked in layers with cheese, vegetables or meat. All covered with béchamel sauce and baked in the oven to create a comforting lasagna dish.

You will have understood, pasta fits absolutely everywhere, to satisfy all palates.

Fresh or dried pasta, what’s the difference?

When it comes to pasta, there is “dry” pasta, that which is prepared from durum wheat semolina, dried for several hours if not years, unlike “fresh” pasta, which are prepared immediately, with flour and left to rest for 10 to 15 minutes.

How to make pasta like the Italians?

The base of fresh pasta: 3 ingredients and perfect balancing

Toni Muzi reminds us, “the real recipe for fresh pasta is 3 whole eggs for 300 g of flour”. We distribute these 300g of flour with on the one hand, 150g of 00 wheat flour and 150g of ground semolina flour, available in specialized grocery stores*.

The chef recommends opting for organic eggs, of medium size, so as to obtain 60 g of fresh egg per unit, since “in this recipe, it is the proportional average for 100 g of flour”. No need to scour the four corners of the supermarket to find these specific eggs, since they are usually already sized medium sized.

Preparing fresh pasta

Chef Toni shares the recipe for fresh pasta step by step, to prepare alone, with friends or family.

Step 1. Put the flour on the work surface, make a well in the center. Break the eggs into the well, and using a fork, mix everything together. When the ingredients begin to come together, continue to knead by hand, folding the dough onto itself until you obtain a smooth, homogenous dough. Wrap the dough in cling film and leave to rest at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 2. Cut a portion of dough, sprinkle with flour. Using a rolling pin, flatten it, before stretching it, either with a rolling mill if you have this machine, or with a rolling pin, exerting good pressure on the dough. Don’t hesitate to sprinkle flour from time to time if the dough becomes too sticky. Stretch the dough to the desired thickness. If you carry out the step with a rolling mill, make several passes to gradually refine the dough by adjusting the thickness between the two rollers.

Create the right pasta shape

Each dough has a specific shape, which means that when cutting, measurements are necessary. Chef Toni offers four different cuts and reveals their precise dimensions, for real fresh Italian pasta.

Tagliatelle: Once you have reached the desired thickness, cut the dough into 6mm tagliatelle with the appropriate rolling pin or by hand.
Pappardelle: Cut using a 1.5 cm wide rolling pin.
Spaghetti alla chitarra: Cut using a 2 mm wide rolling pin.
Fettuccine: Cut using a 4 mm wide roller.

Form nests of pasta

Once formed, weigh the dough in equal parts and form several “nests”, for example by rolling up your tagliatelle on themselves. Result: you would almost believe that you bought them ready-made.

What if we colored our pasta?

“An egg for 100g of flour is the basis of this recipe” reminds us the chef, before telling us that it can also be made in variations. We have fun coloring our pasta and making it even more original. To do this without resorting to the use of artificial coloring, “there are lots of variations, you can add tomato paste to make them red or beetroot coulis to make them pink,” Toni Muzi tells us. If you don’t like basil pesto but want to make green pasta, opt for parsley and spinach coulis.

Now all you have to do is go to the kitchen.

*Product can be found at Eataly, a specialized grocery store
37, rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie
75004 Paris

La Scuola

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