Durum '00' Pasta
August 20, 2020
Try this easy homemade pasta recipe that showcases the flavours of our freshly milled flours. We recommend a 50/50 blend of Durum '00' and Sifted Red Fife for a delicious flavour profile that showcases the Durum without it being overpowering.
There is a formula for making pasta dough that depends on how many you are serving. For every one person eating you will need:
Multiply by two for two people, by four for four people, etc.
Mound the flour in the centre of a large, wide mixing bowl or on a flat surface like a counter top or a large cutting board. Add salt to flour, mix thoroughly. Dig a well in the centre of the mound and add the eggs. Add olive oil into eggs. Using a fork, beat together the eggs and begin to incorporate the flour, starting with the inner rim of the well. The dough will start to come together in a shaggy mass when about half of the flour is incorporated.
Use your hands to continue mixing the dough. Once the dough comes together into a cohesive mass, remove it from the bowl.
Transfer to a lightly floured surface or, lightly flour the surface you're working on, and knead by hand for 4 to 5 minutes until the dough is smooth, elastic and uniform in colour. Wrap the dough in plastic and set aside for at least 30 minutes (and up to 4 hours) at room temperature.
Lightly dust baking sheets with flour. Set aside.
Cut off a quarter of the dough. Rewrap the rest, and set aside. Use the heel of your hand to flatten the dough into an oval approximately the same width as your pasta machine, about six inches. Set the rollers to their widest setting and pass the dough through. If the roller isn’t at the widest setting, this is when pasta rollers most commonly break.
Lay the dough out onto a lightly floured cutting board or countertop and neatly press together into halves, so it’s again about the same width of the pasta machine. Feed the pasta through again at the widest setting. Think of these first rollings as an extended kneading. Continue to fold the dough in thirds and roll it until it is smooth, silky and even-textured. Try to make the sheet the full width of the machine.
Once the dough is silky and smooth, you can begin to roll it out more thinly. Roll it once through each of the next two or three settings, adding flour as needed, until the dough is about 1/4-inch thick.
Once the pasta is about 1/4-inch thick, begin rolling it twice through each of the smaller settings. As you roll, lightly sprinkle Sifted Red Fife or ‘00’ flour on both sides of the pasta to prevent it from sticking to itself.
Roll out pasta until you can just see the outline of your hand when you hold it under a sheet, about 1/16 inch (1.5mm) thick for noodles, or 1/32 inch (0.8mm) thick for a filled pasta.
Once the dough is the correct thickness, you can cut the pasta into sheets, about 12 to 14 inches long. Dust the sheets lightly with flour and stack on one of the prepared baking sheets and cover with a clean, very lightly dampened kitchen towel. Repeat with remaining dough.
Tip: It can be tempting to watch the pasta as it comes out of the rollers. Instead, watch as it enters the machine, using one hand to ensure it goes in straight and doesn’t ripple or overlap onto itself.
Your dough is now ready to be shaped. There are countless shapes of pasta, but we have provided instructions for three popular options below: Lasagna, Noodles and Farfalle.
Simply roll out a sheet of dough as described above and cut to the length of your lasagna pan. Repeat until all your dough is rolled out. Flour as needed to prevent sticking.
To cut noodles with a pasta roller, run the pasta sheets, one at a time, through the cutting attachment, then toss with flour. Gently fluff and separate noodles and pile into nests of single portions (about 85 grams). Place on baking sheets dusted with flour, and cover with a towel until ready to use.
To hand-cut noodles, stack four sheets of pasta lightly dusted with semolina flour, then loosely roll into thirds lengthwise (like folding a letter). Cut with a sharp knife (in ½-inch increments for tagliatelle or fettuccine and into ¾-inch increments for pappardelle), continuing until all the dough is used. Gently fluff and separate noodles and pile onto prepared baking sheets into nests of single portions (about 3 ounces).
To form farfalle cut the sheets of pasta into 1 ½-inch-wide strips using a knife. Then use a fluted ravioli cutter (or a sharp paring knife) to cut each strip into 2-inch-long rectangles. Place your index finger in the centre of the rectangle, then use your thumb and middle finger to pull the top and bottom edges in toward the centre. Remove your index finger and pinch the edges until they stick together. If the pasta isn’t wet enough to stick to itself, dip your fingers in a little water and try again. Place farfalle in a single layer on remaining baking sheets lined with parchment paper and dusted with flour, and cover until ready to use.
Cooking your pasta
Fresh pasta must be cooked through, but just barely. At first, the only way to know when the pasta is done is to taste it, so stand by the pot, tongs in hand, and taste repeatedly.
Fresh pasta cooks quickly, often in 3 or 4 minutes. Have your sauce warm and ready before you drop the pasta into the pot. Cook pasta in plenty of heavily salted, boiling water. For four servings, use at least 5 quarts of water seasoned with ½ cup of course salt or 6 tablespoons fine sea salt.
Bring the water to a rolling boil before adding the pasta. If cooking noodles, stir them with tongs or a wooden spoon after about a minute to prevent them from sticking.
Always reserve some of the pasta cooking water before draining the pasta in a colander. It helps to season and thicken sauces and help the sauce cling to the pasta.
Toss freshly cooked pasta with the sauce of your choice and serve immediately.