Winter Mare e Monti
- 3 1/2 cups 00 pasta flour
- 4 medium eggs, preferably from free-running hens
- 1 1/2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- flour and semolina, for dusting
bench scraper (optional)
wide rolling pin
- Place flour in middle of table or in a large bowl. Make a “well” in the flour and crack 4 eggs into the center.
- Add olive oil and salt, then beat all ingredients carefully to keep them within the well.
- Once all are combined, slowly and gradually bring in the flour from the inside part of the well, trying not to break the flour wall. The mass will start to build in about 3 minutes.
- Using a scraper or your hands, fold all ingredients together. Remove any dried-out pieces of dough that may still be on the work surface and begin to knead dough as you would bread dough. (If using a bowl, just use your hands to mix ingredients; once the dough comes together, remove it from the bowl and place on a hard work surface. Add water if the dough seems dry and too stiff.)
- Knead for about 10 minutes.
- Form dough into a ball and wrap in plastic, making sure it is sealed well. Let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Unwrap dough and flatten it with your hands as if you were making a pizza. The dough must be thin enough to go through the pasta machine.
- Run the sheet through the pasta machine repeatedly, making the sheet thinner each time until reaching the machine’s second-to-last setting (usually a number 2 on the dial). Dust both sides of the sheet with flour after each run.
Once the pasta is the correct thickness, you are ready to cut it into the desired shape. (The recipe for Winter Mare e Monti Sauce calls for pappardelle.) You’ll have one long pasta ribbon, which you’ll need to cut into sections in order for the sheet to feed properly through the appropriate cutter available for your machine. Adjustments may be slightly different for each machine. Once you’ve cut all the pasta, sprinkle it with a little flour and semolina and set it aside.
No pasta machine? “If rolling the dough by hand—good luck,” Buitoni notes. “Just keep going until the dough reaches the thickness of a manila folder.” You’ll end up with one large circular disk. Flour it well and begin to roll it (but not too tight) until you end up with what looks like a giant fruit rollup, he says. Using a sharp knife, cut the pasta to the desired width, starting at one end and working to the other end of roll. Then unravel the pasta ribbons and dust with flour and semolina to prevent sticking and to help the drying process.
When ready to plate the dish, plunge the fresh pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water. Cook for about 3 minutes and serve with your favorite sauce.