I spent several years of my early adulthood completely avoiding the middle section of the grocery store. If it wasn’t a fresh vegetable, meat, cheese, dairy, or eggs, it wasn’t coming home with me. Don’t get me wrong, I was still a total trashmouth at restaurants, but home cooking was for fuel. There wasn’t a speck of flour to be found in my pantry.
The two things that flipped that philosophy on its head were giving up meat and learning to make pasta dough.
Pasta is spiritually important to me. When I was eleven, I settled on fettucine Alfredo as my favorite food, and I haven’t looked back. The recipe below yields a dough that’s great for pappardelle, tortellini, lasagna sheets — basically any pasta you’d care to roll out and cut by hand. The number of servings will vary depending on how you roll it out, but for straight-up noodles, you’ll get about three healthy portions.
9 egg yolks
1tbsp olive oil
200g all purpose flour
50g no. 1 durum wheat semolina flour. If you don’t have this, can’t find it, or don’t want to buy it, your pasta will still be very good. Just replace with an extra 50g AP flour. But it does improve the pasta’s texture and even my crummy grocery store carries it, so it’s worth keeping around.
Mix the first three ingredients in a large bowl until combined. Add the dry ingredients and mix with a fork until they begin to come together. Then, get handsy — knead the dough in the bowl first, until most of the flour is worked into the dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly-floured work surface and continue to knead until you’ve got a cohesive, Play-Doh-esque lump of beautiful future noodles. The kneading is done when you can stretch the dough without it tearing too much, and it springs back slowly.
Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least thirty minutes before rolling and cutting into whatever shape you desire. I usually double this recipe and freeze half of it, giving me a stash of ready-to-go dough for up to three months.