Pasta and Herbs: Egg Pasta

| April/May 1996

Makes about 2/3 pound, 4 to 6 servings

These recipes are all variations or elaborations of this basic pasta. The recipe is easily expanded: just keep the proportion of one extra-large egg to one cup of flour. A one-egg batch will serve two adults as a main course or three as a first course or side dish. If you are serving ardent pasta lovers or if you want leftovers, add an extra egg and cup of flour to the batch. We are quite fond of leftover pasta for breakfast.

• 2 cups unbleached flour
• 2 extra-large eggs

Mixing By Hand

1. Heap the flour and make a well in it. Break the eggs into the well and beat them together with a fork, then stir the eggs into the flour from the bottom of the well until the dough in the center is smooth and shiny. With your hands, incorporate the flour from the outside into the center, kneading gently until the mass of dough is consistent but still soft.

2. Continue to knead until the dough is smooth and resilient. You may need to add more flour if the dough is sticky or very pliable, or you may not incorporate all of the flour. Divide the dough into two portions and cover it with plastic wrap or an overturned bowl. Let it rest for at least 30 minutes before putting it through a pasta machine.

Mixing with a Food Processor

1. Place the flour in the work bowl fitted with the steel blade and pulse. Add the eggs and process 30 seconds. The dough should just turn over itself at the top of the bowl. Test by stopping the machine and pinching a bit of the dough together. It should cohere readily. If it doesn’t, add water, a teaspoonful at a time, and process; add only as much water as necessary. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead for a few minutes.

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