This weekend as I was relaxing on a hammock in our yard I lamented over the fact that I still haven’t had time to try out the pasta maker I got for my birthday. Then I realized that I could be making pasta that day, so I rolled myself out of the hammock and got over to the kitchen.
After reading a few too many homemade pasta recipes, I read a fantastic post on Serious Eats titled The Science of the Best Fresh Pasta. When given the chance, I’ll always go for a rigorously tested recipe, so I decided to follow that recipe to make linguine. A much shorter version of the recipe is posted below. It was a workout to knead the dough but the reward was that this pasta was delicious, tender and not at all gummy. Next time I’d like to try kneading the dough with my bread machine and see what happens.
The problem was that after making this pasta, I was left with four egg whites. I couldn’t throw them out, but I also hate “diet” recipes that substitute egg whites for whole eggs. I decided instead I should make meringues. During all this time Beth took over my spot in the hammock so she had no idea of the mess I was making inside. After a little reading I found a method to make meringues without cream of tartar and I was on my way. Meringue to be posted next time!
Fresh Homemade Linguine
Serves 4 people as a main dish
- 2 cups flour
- 2 whole large eggs
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/2 t salt (optional)
1. Place the flour in a pile in the center of a cutting board or directly on the counter. Make a
large well in the middle of the flour and pour in the eggs, egg yolks and salt (if using). Using a fork, carefully whisk the eggs, mixing in bits of flour as you go.
2. Once most of the flour is incorporated, begin kneading the dough with your hands. It will be very stiff. After a few minutes the dough should be easier to work. If it is still dry, add water 1/2 teaspoon at a time. Continue kneading until the dough is smooth, this took me about 10-12 minutes. Consider it your substitute for arm day.
3. After kneading, shape the dough into a rough disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rest for at least half an hour (or as much at 4 hours) at room temperature.
4. Once the dough is rested, cut it into four equal sections. Using the first section, roll it through the pasta machine on the thickest setting (6 on my machine). Then fold the dough in thirds and roll it again at that setting. Repeat this process a second time.
5. Reduce the thickness setting by one and repeat the step above. Then reduce the thickness setting and do it again.
6. Reduce the thickness setting by one and roll the dough through the machine. No need to fold in thirds this time, just reduce the setting again and roll the dough through again. continue this process until you are at the thinnest setting on the machine.
7. At this point, you will have a long thin piece of dough. Roll the dough through the linguine or spaghetti attachment of your machine (or cut with a knife and ruler if you don’t have the attachment). Place the cut linguine on a lightly floured surface in a next shape. Repeat the rolling process with the rest of the dough.
8. Bring a pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add the pasta to the water, separating any stuck strands as you drop them in the pot. Stir gently and allow to boil for about one and a half to two minutes. Fresh pasta cooks fast, so have your colander and sauce ready.
9. Drain the pasta and add to sauce. If you have a homemade sauce you may want to reserve some pasta cooking water to add to the sauce.