Finding more time on your hands these days? Well, before the chaos of the holiday season hits, I like to take the opportunity to learn something new. In this case, that would be pasta. From the experts at Il Villaggio Osteria, I’m learning and refining my pasta-making skills, and encouraging Dishing followers to give it a whirl as well!
Pasta making is a lost art in these parts. Maybe if you grew up with a Sicilian grandmother, you might be already well-versed in the technique. Most pastas are a simple mix of ingredients (flour, water, eggs, oil and salt), but it’s the process that causes most to shy away from the task. When its possible, steer toward the most high-quality of these otherwise simple ingredients: Italian flour, farm-fresh eggs, etc. Better eggs result in richer pasta.
Try the following recipe for Osteria’s pappardelle pasta. A great place to start for beginners, the method is generally simple and can be done without any special equipment (or a Sicilian grandmother).
Osteria's Pappardelle Pasta
- 15 ounces all-purpose flour
- 13 ounces semolina
- 6 ounces durum flour
- 2 ounces extra virgin olive oil
- .6 ounces kosher salt
- 10 large eggs
- 8 large egg yolks
- Mix flours and salt in a bowl with a fork.
- In a separate bowl, mix eggs, yolks and olive oil.
- Pour the flour onto a clean work surface.
- Mound the mixture, then form a well in the center.
- Pour egg and oil mixture into the well.
- Slowly incorporate the flour and egg mixture (a dough scraper makes this easier but is not necessary).
- Once liquid is absorbed, knead dough until it forms a mass.
- Knead until dough is smooth, about two to three minutes.
- Then, form the dough into a ball, and wrap in plastic wrap.
- Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.
- Pull dough out of the refrigerator, and cut in half.
- Place one half on a clean work surface, and roll out dough to about 1/4-inch thickness (turning dough to a quarter turn often to ensure it rolls out evenly).
- Let sit for a few minutes before continuing to roll to 1/8-inch thickness.
- Trim rough edges.
- Roll dough up like a cigar, keeping a uniform width but being careful not to crease the dough.
- Cut roll into pieces, about 1/2-inch wide each.
- Place on rack to dry for about 10 minutes before cooking in boiling water for three minutes.
- Repeat with second half, or freeze in plastic wrap for later use.
- If pasta is too dry, add water.
- If it's too wet, add flour.
With numerous die cutting tools and a machine than can produce 390 shapes, the chefs at Osteria can turn out 25 pounds of pasta in 15 minutes. Think ravioli, fusilli, pappardelle, you name it! Hence the variety of pastas adorning their menu. But why go to all the trouble of homemade pasta? The answer: it’s lighter, richer and aligns with Osteria’s goal to make as much of its items from scratch as possible.