Using a Pasta Machine is one of the ways to shape Egg Pasta Dough (or non-egg semolina pasta as well). Remember that you need to allow your dough to rest before you can shape it:
To shape the dough on the same day, let it rest for at least 1 hour after kneading (at room temperature and covered with a cling wrap).
If you let the dough rest overnight in the fridge, take it out of the fridge and let it rest for at least half an hour (at room temperature and covered with a cling wrap).
For this recipe, we use Kitchen Aid Pasta Machine. If you use a manually operated pasta machine, the sheet roller would have the same “1” to “6” settings which indicate the thickness of the pasta dough you are rolling, with “1” being the thickest.
Before you start, set up the working space:
Pasta machine with the sheet roller attachment
Wooden board (to place your dough, sprinkled with semolina)
A bag of semolina flour within arm’s reach from wooden board
Clean surface covered with cloth (to distribute your pasta sheets)
A tray with generous amount of semolina flour
This recipe was prepared for a dinner of 5 persons.
Sprinkle semolina flour on the wooden board and egg pasta dough.
Cut your dough into half. Cut it again into another half. You will have a quarter about the size of your palm.
Gently shape your quarter into a roughly rectangular piece. Turn both sides through the semolina on the wooden board.
Set the pasta machine sheet roller to “1” (thickest) and switch on your machine. Run the dough through the top of the roller.
Change the setting of the machine to “2”. Add semolina to both sides of the sheet, and run it again through the roller. Repeat this step, increasing the machine setting by a number each time, until the piece is run through setting number “6”.
Place your thin sheet onto a cloth. Cut into desired length and slice uneven ends to create rectangular sheets. Sprinkle semolina on the sheet to prevent it from sticking. Repeat steps 1 to 6, until you use all your egg pasta dough.Do not throw away the remaining cut ends, which can be used as “maltagliati” (“badly shaped”) typically used for soups with beans or peas.
II. Run it through the shape cutter
Change your pasta machine attachment to the Fettuccine Cutter (or your desired shape cutter). Run your thin sheet through the cutter.
Hold the fettuccine bundle and run it through semolina flour in the tray. Roll the bundle up and set aside while you work on the other sheets.
Cook the pasta in boiling water (with salt), or store in the freezer.
Semolina flour – Scoop, the nearest to us at Great World City Other options: Phoon Huat, Little Farms
Semolina vs Other Flours
Semolina works better than “00” white flours to keep pasta dry. If you do not have any semolina at home, you may use other white flours.
Hand Rolling vs Pasta Machine Sheet Roller
My grandmother could roll out very thin pasta sheets by hand, using a big wooden board and a long wooden rod, and she was much faster than the machine. It is doable, of course, but takes a lot of skill.
This is a very useful dough which can be used for all your egg pasta shapes: fettuccine, tagliatelle, pappardelle, lasagne, etc. Egg pasta goes very well with meaty sauces such as the ragù such as the Ragù alla Bolognese.
Watch the video to see the kneading technique, and hear some anecdotes on the history of Ragù.
10-15 mins of preparation, 1 hour of resting (if using dough on the same day), orovernight resting in the fridge (with additional 0.5 hour resting outside the fridge before shaping the pasta).
This recipe was prepared for a dinner of 5 persons.
500g of “00” Italian flour, in a big bowl
5 large eggs
Wooden board for kneading
Pinch of salt (Optional)
Extra virgin olive oil (Optional)
With your fingers, make a “volcano crater” in the middle of the flour bowl, and break the eggs into the cavity. Use the best eggs you can find, it will make a big difference. We use cage-free eggs.
With a fork, slowly incorporate flour into the eggs in a circular motion.
When the eggs are no longer visible (no liquid of the eggs is visible in the flour mix), continue to knead with hands for a few minutes. Your dough will start forming bits of sticky lumps.
When the flour mix starts to form a loose lump (sticky bits with only about 10-20% powder of the flour), pour it onto the board and continue kneading. At this point, your dough is still a bit sticky to your fingers.
Knead for 10-15 minutes by flattening and stretching with the lower palms of your hands until dough has an elastic texture. At the end, your dough should not stick to your fingers or the board. See kneading tips below.
Shape into a thick disk, wrap tightly with a cling wrap, and set aside to rest (outside for 1 hour, or in the fridge overnight).
We used a pasta machine to shape our dough into fettuccine the next day. See the recipe here.
Where we bought our ingredients in Singapore:
“00” Italian Flour – Scoop, the nearest to us at Great World City Other options: Phoon Huat, Little Farms
Cage-Free Large Eggs – Any big supermarkets, refrigerated (usually near dairy items) – Fair Price, Cold Storage, Little Farm.
As you knead, remove the dry flaky bits that are not absorbed into the dough. Do not force them into the dough as they will not be fully incorporated. This is common for egg pasta dough.
If sticky, your dough is too wet and you should sprinkle some flour as you knead.
If you feel that your dough is too dry, wet the tips of your finger.
Your dough is ready when it is no longer sticky and has developed enough resistance to your kneading as a smoother big lump.
Do not over-knead as your pasta will develop too much gluten and become too chewy.
Do not use a mixer to knead your dough, as a mixer uses too much strength even at its lowest setting and your dough will develop too much gluten.
“Strong” flours have a protein content of 12% and above, and are used for bread, pizza, focaccia and the likes.
“Weak” flours have lower protein content and are typically used for pasta and cakes. The “00” Italian Flour is a “weak” (but no less delicious) flour.
My grandmother would give the dry flaky bits of flour that were otherwise thrown away to the chickens and pigs outside. Unfortunately, we do not have any in Singapore.
To Egg or Not To Egg
The egg pasta was traditionally from the North of Italy. In the South where I come from, the traditional pasta uses semolina and water (and a pinch of salt). My paternal grandmother, for example, used only the no-egg dough. My maternal nonna who was more adventurous (she had a pen pal from even further north, in Germany) made the egg pasta sometimes. The egg pasta is of course now a staple all over the country.
The types of two pasta doughs have different textures. As I mentioned, the egg pasta can be accompanied by meaty sauces such as the ragù such as the Ragù alla Bolognese, Napoletana, Siciliana, Pugliese, Calabrese, etc.