Egg pasta dough

Learn the art of homemade fresh pasta from those who’ve spent a lifetime making it to perfection with these rustic Italian recipes

Egg pasta dough
Prep 45 min
Rest 35 min
Serves 1

100g 00 or plain flour
1 x 55g egg without its shell (if your eggs are on the small side, add water or another yolk to bring it up to the right weight, if needed)

Tip the flour on to a board and use your fingers to make a well in the centre, making sure it’s not too wide nor the rim too low. Pour the egg into the welland scramble together with a fork – they are mixed sufficiently when you lift the fork and you have a homogeneous, non-clumpy looking liquid that falls smoothly from your fork. Draw a fork round the inside of the flour wall, so a small quantity of flour falls into the egg mixture. Whisk it in, smooshing any lumps, so you gradually create a batter. Repeat until you have a mixture that won’t run all over the board, then cave in the flour walls and mix in the rest of the flour with a bench scraper by scraping the flour inwards and over the batter.

Mop up any flour with your dough and give it a quick knead. If it is sticky, add a tablespoon of flour and knead again. Knead the dough for 10 minutes minimum: it should feel soft and pillowy. Think of your hands as waves: the heels of your hands push the dough away from you while your fingers pull it back. Once the dough becomes a log, turn it 90 degrees, fold it in half and continue kneading. You want to work at a brisk pace, as air is the enemy of decent pasta – it will dry it out. If the pasta feels too dry, dampen your hands with water to put moisture back into the dough. Your dough should feel silky and smooth. Put the dough in a lidded bowl, cover it to stop it from drying out, and leave the dough at room temperature for 30 minutes (or in the fridge overnight – but bring back to room temperature before you try rolling).

Cup your hands over a rolling pin so your wrists nearly touch the pasta board, and flatten the dough with a pin, turning it a few degrees at a time. When it is the size of a plate, start with your hands at hip width and roll the top third of your dough (furthest away from you) by following the curve of the circle and drawing your hands inwards as you push the pin away from you. Your hands will meet in the middle. Stop the pin before it reaches the very edge. Roll the dough four times, turn the pasta from 12 o’clock to 1 o’clock and repeat, going round the clock. To get rid of the bump of pasta in the middle, flip the outer edge of pasta over the pin, hold the pasta with one hand, and put the other hand on the dough to stop it moving. Give the pin a tug with the pasta hand to create a snug fit around the pin. Roll the dough over the pin towards you. Move your hands wider, stick your elbows out and, pressing down, roll the pasta out two or three times.

This will flatten the thicker central zone of your pasta. Finish with the pasta rolled up and turn it 90 degrees, opening it out across the board. Repeat this process until the sfoglia (the pasta sheet) is too large to move comfortably by hand. At this stage, you will need to Roll it up around the pin and turn it, as described above. Allow your pin to roll on its own across the dough to remove any air after you have turned it.

To check it’s evenly rolled, roll up a third, hold the edges (it will fall off the pin otherwise) and hold it up to the light. Darker patches mean thicker dough and that you haven’t rolled it uniformly, so you will want to go back over these areas. Leave your pasta sheet to dry on the board for five minutes.