Don't be intimidated by the dough, it's tough to ruin.

Pasta Dough

From Roberta’s Cookbook, an easy to make pasta dough for all occasions. We tried it out for an edition of Cookbook Club.

Makes 450 grams (1 pound); Serves 3 or 4

300 grams (2 cups plus 3 ½ tablespoons) Tipo 00 flour*

6 large egg yolks

60 grams (1/4 cup) room-temperature water

All-purpose flour, for rolling the dough

* This is Italian flour that’s much more finely milled than American flour. It makes lighter pasta with a really nice texture.

1. Sift the flour (this is particularly key if the flour’s been sitting around for a while or if it’s been humid). On a work surface or in a big metal bowl, mound your sifted flour and make a well in the center.

2. Put the egg yolks and a splash of water in the well. With your hands, break up the egg yolks and begin incorporating the flour into them a little at a time (if you’re using a bowl, put a kitchen towel under the bowl so it doesn’t spin around while you mix). Take your time. Work the mixture with your fingers and gradually pull in more flour from underneath and around it, adding more water if the dough seems dry.

3. When the dough starts to come together into a mass, transfer it to a dry surface and begin kneading it. Push it, pull it, and push it back down again. Put the palms of your hands into it. Work the dough firmly until it’s one cohesive, smooth mass, about 10 minutes. Wrap it in a damp kitchen towel and let it rest at room temperature for half an hour. If you’re not using it immediately, wrap it in plastic wrap, refrigerate it, and use it within 12 hours.

4. Attach your pasta machine to the edge of a clean, long work surface. Divide the dough into 2 baseball-size balls. Flatten them slightly with your hand and dust them lightly with flour. Set the pasta machine to the widest setting and feed one ball of dough into it four or five times in a row. Adjust the setting to the next widest and feed the dough through three or four times. If the pasta cracks along the side, fold the cracked edge over and feed the sheet through the machine again to smooth it out. Adjust the machine to the thinnest possible setting and feed the dough through. The resulting sheet of pasta should be about 1/16 inch thick—just short of being translucent. Repeat with the remaining ball of dough. Cover the sheets with a damp towel.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Roberta’s Cookbook.

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