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How to Make Pasta

How to Make Pasta
May 2014
Want spaghetti as bellissimo as the stuff turned out by Rio Bertolini’s Fresh Pasta Co.? Brian Bertolini schools you in eight simple steps

(Makes about 1 1/2 lbs.)
4 cups 00 flour (or all-purpose flour)
5 eggs
5 yolks

❶ On your counter, make a mound of flour with a well in the center.

❷ Crack the eggs into the well; add yolks. With a fork, beat the egg mixture and gradually work eggs into flour to form a paste. Continue to work the dough with your fingertips until everything is combined.

❸ Knead dough with the palm of your hand for five to 10 minutes, or until it becomes smooth and elastic.

❹ Wrap dough in plastic and let it rest for 30 minutes to an hour.

❺ Remove the dough from the plastic and cut into quarters. (Work with one quarter and keep the rest wrapped in plastic.) Lightly flour the dough and flatten with your palm.

❻ Roll the dough through the widest setting of a pasta machine. (If it sticks, dust with flour.) Adjust the machine down one notch and roll the dough through again. Fold the dough in half lengthwise and roll it through five times or until smooth, elastic, and as wide as the rollers. Set the machine down one more setting and roll the dough through again.

❼ Cut the dough into 18-inch lengths. Run the lengths through a spaghetti cutter.

❽ Dust the pasta with flour and allow it to dry until no longer sticky. Boil to serve immediately. To freeze, separate into three-to four-ounce portions, coil, and place in plastic freezer bags. (You can freeze fresh pasta for up to one month.)

Cacio e Pepe (Cheese & Pepper Pasta)

Makes 6 servings

4 Tbs. kosher salt

4 Tbs. unsalted butter

1 1/2 lbs. fresh spaghetti

1 cup pasta water

2 cups pecorino romano, finely grated

3 Tbs. freshly ground black pepper

In a large pot, bring two gallons of water and kosher salt to a rapid boil over high heat.

In a sauté pan, melt (don’t brown) butter over medium heat.

Add pasta to boiling water. When pasta is almost al dente, add it and one-fourth cup of pasta cooking water to the melted butter. Shake the pan over medium heat to reduce the water slightly, about one minute. (The water will become starchy but not too thick. Add a little more pasta water if spaghetti needs to be loosened up.)

Remove the pan from the heat. Add cheese and black pepper. Shake pan and stir well to combine. Plate and serve immediately.