Italian Cuisine/making pasta



I tried this recipes but with half as much salt as in video not knowing exactly what a "pinch" is, and I mixed the eggs entirely in a smaller bowl while sifting flours into a larger bowl and then adding eggs and olive oil into that and mixing entirely by hand in bowl until it got sticky, then continued on cutting board. I pressed the dough through a meat grinder with pasta hole attachments to try to make spagetti. I found it came out extremely sticky and it was hard to keep the noodles appart and even with all the mxing and kneeding it had a somewhat grainy texture versus a smooth slippery store bought texture spagetti. How can I improve this recipe? More olive oil? Entirely semolina flour?

pasta a mano
pasta a mano  
pasta a mano
pasta a mano  
ANSWER: Dear James,

The homemade pasta recipe that I have always used does not contain any olive oil but rather just flour, eggs and a pinch of salt.

To be more specific:

1 egg for every 100 grams of flour.

So the general recipe for 4 people would be:

400 grams of "OO" flour (this is a very soft wheat flour)
4 whole eggs (room temperature)
1/2 tsp of salt

Sift the flour onto a smooth work surface, make a hill shape and then create a well in the centre where you will crack in your eggs, one at a time.  Add the salt to the eggs.  Mix the eggs gently with a fork in the well and then with your hands (latex gloves come in handy here) start to envelop the flour into the eggs working the flour in from the outside.  Work gently to make a nice firm ball but if you find the dough does not pick up ALL the flour then add one or teaspoons of warm water to the dough - working it to pick up all the flour on your surface. Knead until you obtain a smooth yet firm ball of dough.  Wrap the ball in plastic wrap and allow it to rest for 1 hour in a cool dry place (not the fridge though).

After the dough has rested, flour your work surface and gently start rolling out and extending your pasta dough - you will need to probably cut your pieces into smaller ones so that you may work and roll each piece thin enough for your spaghetti attachment.

Once you get the hang of it, you may want to invest in a manual pasta crank type machine which will help flatten the dough for you and will also cut the spaghetti, fettuccine shapes of your choice.

Try not to get to frustrated with yourself...enjoy a glass of wine and some good Frank Sinatra music to get into the mood, don't worry as you make, just enjoy the fun of creation, I'm sure you will master it in no time!!


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: What is the common name for this "OO" flour? I am Aiming to make it as close as possible to store bought. Would you not recommend semolina flour? I've been told that is the authentic type of flour for pasta. Why use this well method? Why not just use bowls? I would like to avoid mess. How can I get store bought texture? And I won't be flattening the dough out. I press it through a grinder with slots in the front.

Dear James,

Semolina flour is too course for the application of making by hand and I have never made pasta thru a meat grinder and therefore cannot tell you how to produce the end result.  I do know that you will not be able to replicate store bought box pasta - this is for sure as fresh pasta is some thing totally different.

I would really like to help you more but the only way I have successfully made homemade spaghetti is the method I explained above.

I wish you the best of luck.

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Julie Streater


Anything related to Italian Cuisine, recipes, types of food, origins of recipes, regional recipes, regional wines.


Lived and worked in Genoa, Italy for 12 years Speak fluent Italian Own my own Italian Restaurant in Toronto Canada

I have not written any publications but I do appear on local television once a month - cooking a variety of Italian pasta dishes.

Educated in Canada Finishing school in Genoa Italy completed 3 cooking courses, one in Lucca Italy, and two in Genoa Italian wine appreciation course, Wiltshire England

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