Tag Archives: fresh pasta

Fresh egg pasta

Success ! My fresh egg pasta

I’ve had a pasta machine for a while now. My first experience was a complete disaster. My kitchen counter was too thick, so I had to end up experimenting with various sized books to try to clamp the machine to, none of which were heavy enough. The recipe I used was too dry and I wasn’t experienced enough with doughs to understand what consistency I was looking for. And I hadn’t planned ahead and had no where suitable to dry the pasta once it was rolled out. I made such a mess, ended up with horrid dry pasta, and the machine promptly went back in the box and stored.

Call it stubbornness – today I faced my fears and I conquered the machine !

My recipe is a combination of many others (including Jamie Oliver, Bertolli and Mario Batali) – I also had to consider that I am making my dough in hot and humid Singapore, so I think it’s just important to work the pasta dough until it’s the right consistency, adding flour and/or water as necessary, to make it a smooth, elastic dough. And I can’t stress enough how important it is to rest the dough, it becomes so soft and workable once the gluten has had a chance to relax. I have to admit it sure is easier and faster to just used dried pasta, but fresh pasta tastes so different, and making my own pasta gave me such a sense of satisfaction and was so much fun that I’m sure that made it even more tasty.

Ingredients makes enough for 2 hungry people

  1. 200g plain flour
  2. 2 eggs (I use really small eggs (60g) so if you have larger eggs then you’ll need a little more flour)
  3. 3 tablespoons iced water

Method

  1. Place the flour on your counter and make a well in the middle
  2. Crack your eggs in the middle, mix them and then slowly start incorporating the flour from the inside edges of the well
  3. Add the water and continue to incorporate until you can bring the dough together with your hands
  4. The dough at this stage will be very grainy and feel quite dry. This is where you get to channel all your frustrations and anger into the dough as it needs to be kneaded – a lot. There’s no real time I can give you (it took me 10 minutes) but you need to work the gluten so that you get a firm textured pasta, and you’ll know when to stop when the dough suddenly becomes smooth and elastic. I carried on kneading a bit more at this stage for good measure.
  5. Divide the dough into 4 small rounds, wrap in cling film to stop them from drying out, and let rest for at least 30 minutes
  6. Once you are ready and have your pasta machine clamped firmly onto something heavy (preferably your kitchen counter – for me it was my “Toys for Chefs” book!), and also have somewhere ready nearby that is suitable for drying your pasta (trust me you don’t want to have to worry about this when you have a handful of sticky pasta ribbons), set the machine to the first setting, and roll through one of the dough balls
  7. Fold it over and run it through on the first setting and repeat about ten times more. This helps to work the dough more and helps you get that lovely stretchy texture in your pasta
  8. Continue roll the dough through the various numbers on the machine until you have it at your desired thinness. I made fettucine and I like my pasta thin, so I rolled it till it reached maximum setting (9). You may want to have it thicker if you are making something that needs to be a bit more robust, like a lasagna sheet or rag pasta
  9. Dry the pasta ribbons on a floured rolling pin or other surface so that they don’t stick together. You have to work relatively quickly here because the pasta dries quite quickly
  10. When you’re done with all four portions of dough, you’re ready to cook the pasta. As the pasta is unseasoned, you need to heavily season the water you are cooking it in – it needs to taste “like the sea”
  11. What you do with the cooked pasta is entirely up to your imagination (I made a pesto pasta) and I guarantee you it will taste better than you imagined!

Ristorante Pietro Valentini

Fried egg and asparagus with fresh black truffles

My last holiday post ! It has been so so so wonderful being able to extend the memory of the trip by reliving each of the amazing places where we were lucky enough to eat. And it’s been such a journey. I am hungry and full and happy and sad at the same time.

Our last stop in Italy was Rome – just for one night as that was where we were flying out from. It was intentional, we had half a day to visit our favourite monuments (the awesome Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain) and to eat at the restaurant that we chanced upon two years ago, Ristorant Pietro Valentini.

Our palate has grown increasingly hungry for truffles since we last visited, and I do recall then ordering only one dish with truffles, instead filling precious tummy space with fritto misto (lightly battered and deep fried seafood) and stuffed zucchini flowers.

Fresh tagliolini with white truffles

This time we ordered with laser focus (although we couldn’t resist some of their fresh homemade walnut bread). Fried eggs and asparagus to start – a slightly strange dish for dinner but who wants to stick to tradition when it comes liberally covered in shaved black truffles ? The asparagus spears were thick and green and cooked to perfection, the egg cooked through but with a runny yolk, and that’s all you get served with. What ? Oh, wait, here comes Simone, the daughter in-law of the owner and cook, with a tray of black truffles, selects one nonchalantly and grates it with a microplane over the dish. The warmth of the egg seems to enhance the smell of truffles even more.

Parmesan risotto with fresh white truffles

For mains we thought we’d stick to simple dishes – parmesan risotto and fresh tagliolini. Again, both served plain at the table, and then the lovely Simona arrives with a wooden box which she opens to reveal four beautiful white truffles. She then proceeds to thinly shave about two of these over our two dishes. And here we thought the black truffles smelled good. The aroma of the white truffles when they hit the warm rice and pasta filled the small restaurant to the point where all conversation in the place stopped, replaced with oohs and aahs of delight. Guess they were also there for the same thing and it was a taste/smell of things to come 🙂

I don’t really need to say much more than that other than we risked walking across the city amongst strikes and protests and riots (including riot police!) to get to Pietros. And boy was it worth it.

Ristorante Pietro Valentini
Via dei Pianellari
Rome, Italy
Tel: 066868565