Decadent 2* Egg Pasta
- Pasta machine or rolling pin
- Mixing bowl
- Cutting board or other clean work surface
- 100 g Egg Yolks The weight of your yolks will vary widely, so use a scale!
- 62.5 g Tipo 00 or AP flour We've used everything from imported Italian 00 flour to the cheapest AP flour, all with good results.
- 62.5 g Semolina flour Similarly, we've made this with the cheapest stuff we could get at our local middle eastern market, all the way up to imported Italian stuff and Bob's Red Mill product, all with good results.
- Separate your egg yolks, and place them in a separate bowl.
- Weigh out your egg yolks first; we've found that 8 medium yolks, or 6 large yolks, work out to roughly 100 grams, but we absolutely recommend a scale for this.
- Weigh out your semolina and AP/00 flour, adjusting quantities appropriately against the egg yolks. Use the weight in grams of your egg yolks as a percentage. For example: your egg yolks weigh 110 grams? Add 10% to both your 00/AP and semolina flour quantities to match.
- Combine your flours together in a mixing bowl. Use a whisk if you have one, or just your fingers. Create a small well in the center of the flour.
MAKE AND REST THE DOUGH
- Pour the egg yolks directly onto the flour, and mix with your fingers until well combined.
- Once there is no visible egg yolk, dust your work surface with flour (either type) and transfer the dough onto it.
- Knead the dough for 10-15 minutes, until uniformly smooth. The dough should feel firm and dense; almost like pottery clay. Add flour as needed in equal proportions, or egg yolk if your dough is too dry.
- Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and set aside to rest for 30 minutes.
ROLL AND CUT THE PASTA
- After resting, remove the dough from the plastic wrap and roll it out using a pasta machine (ideally) or a rolling pin. You are developing gluten during this step as well, so don't skimp; we will usually run my dough through the machine rollers about 10 times total,most of them on the widest or second widest setting, folding and re-rolling the pasta three to four times.
- If your pasta cracks slightly on the edge, either your dough is a bit dry or you're rushing the rolling process. Neither is a deal breaker; you can trim the edges and use them separately, or do what we do and just leave them on. It's just pasta.
- On a pasta machine, we usually roll the dough out to the 3rd-to-last thickness setting; thin enough to be pliable, but thick enough to maintain a bit of texture after cooking. That said, this is a very rich pasta, and we recommend it as tagliolini with a simple sauce, or rolled even thinner and used for tortelli or ravioli skin.
- Cut to your desired width; we typically aim for tagliolini (about 2-3mm wide).
- Prep: Rehydrate some dried sliced porcini mushrooms by placing them in a small bowl with boiling water. Cover and leave for about 30 minutes. Remove the rehydrated mushrooms to a separate bowl; strain and reserve the porcini broth left behind.(By all means, use some white truffles instead, if you happen to have some laying around)
- Prep: Grate 1/4 cup, loosely packed, of good quality parmesan cheese (per serving), aged a MINIMUM of 24 months. Younger or lower quality cheese may tend to form shreds and strings, rather than melting evenly into a creamy sauce.
- Prep: Prepare one to two portions — about 1/2 tablespoon each — of butter per serving; get this very cold, almost frozen.
- Now you're ready to cook. Prep your cookware and tools. You will need: a pot of generously salted, boiling water; a small saucepan at temp over medium-low heat; a small whisk or fork; a spoon or small ladle; salt and pepper.
- Drop a serving (about 60 grams) of your freshly made tagliolini to cook. This will cook quickly, so everything after this step happens quite fast.
- Add a small ladle of salted pasta water, two or three slices of your rehydrated porcini mushrooms, and a spoonful of the porcini broth to your saucepan.
- Mount well-chilled butter into the sauce, stirring vigorously with a whisk or a fork to emulsify. You'll have to do this by feel, but will probably end up using roughly a tablespoon of butter at this stage.
- Around this time, your pasta should be cooked. Transfer it directly into your saucepan, and mix to coat the pasta evenly. Adjust with more pasta water, and mount more butter into the sauce if needed.
- Remove from heat; dump in your parmesan cheese and mix until incorporated. The sauce should be creamy and glossy, but not too thick; about the consistency of raw egg yolk.
- Season to taste with salt (remember that the pasta water is also salted) and pepper; plate and serve immediately.
All credit for these ratios goes to Chef Gaetano Trovato and his brigade at Arnolfo in Colle di Val D’Elsa, with whom we were lucky enough to spend some time watching and learning a few things.
Meals at Michelin starred fine dining establishments are definitely a rarity for us, but true to form our favorite dish happened to be their simplest. Everything we tried there was impeccable, but their white truffle tagliolini, made with a grand total of six ingredients, knocked us flat on our asses. This pasta dough is the exact ratio they use at the restaurant, and the suggested preparation is as close as we can get with ingredients easily available to us, and our limited skill.
As you might not have easy access to eggs (or for that matter, butter, flour, cheese, fresh truffles, and a pasta chef) of the same caliber as a Michelin starred restaurant in Tuscany, it’s likely that your pasta, as ours, won’t have quite the same color or sheen as theirs. However, we’re confident that this pasta, if cooked and prepared well, can stand up pretty well against most you’ll find nearby — unless you live near an Italian grandmother.