Many people ask The Pasta Maker what the ingredients go into creating our pasta and basically there are only 2, and since we normally make egg pasta it’s usually only semolina flour and egg.
The general algorithm for making pasta as told to me by an Italian, is as follows:
1 : 1
for example, 100 grams of flour to 1 large egg,
100 grams for every 1 portion.
However, the recipe for pasta varies from region to region, from north to south, from east to west and from family to family. Yes, the recipe for pasta is not at all straight forward. Although there is one rule that The Pasta Maker cannot emphasize enough – never use all-purpose or bread flour to make pasta if you expect authentic Italian pasta to be the result. You will be disappointed.
Flour for pasta
Italians make pasta at home using semolina flour, durum flour (which is simply semolina flour ground finely) and/or Tipo 00 flour (which is exactly like Swan Down cake flour, in that it is ground very finely). Some people don’t enjoy the flavour of semolina flour and will use only Tipo 00 for making their egg pasta. Others will use various ratios of durum to Tipo 00. Note that durum (finely ground semolina) will be mixed with another finely ground flour. Semolina (coarse ground) won’t be used in this way. For example:
2 parts durum to 1 part Tipo 00
The number of eggs used can also vary. Sometimes 1 whole egg and one egg yolk will be used for evey 100 grams of flour. This will give your pasta a deeper yellow colour. And then we met Gina, the Head Chef at The Capracotta Hotel and got a lesson in how they make pasta in Molise!
Gina uses her particular recipe for making all types of pasta shapes, including angel hair which is commonly made without adding egg at all. Gina’s recipe is perfect for ensuring that your fresh pasta, once cooked, has a ‘chewing’ consistency. It is often not easy to create a fresh pasta that once cooked, can give you that ‘al-dente’ texture we all look for. Gina’s pasta does exactly that!
Fresh egg pasta using a blend of durum and Tipo 00 flours
- 2 parts durum wheat flour
- 1 part Tipo 00
- 1 medium to large egg for every 100 grams of flour (56 grams)
For those of you who have had one of our pasta classes, you will know that we encourage you to weigh all of your ingredients, including the egg. This will help you begin to get a feel for how the texture of the pasta is at each stage.
TIP: Your eggs will not weigh perfectly. Therefore, it is better to weigh ‘under weight‘ rather than ‘over weight‘. For example, if 1 of your eggs weighs 50 grams, make up the difference with either egg yolk only, or natural spring water such as Zephyrhills.
We recommend that you use a mixing bowl to bring the eggs and flour together. Use a fork until you can use your fingers.
My pasta dough is too wet
Be patient. You will need to gently knead your dough for up to 10 minutes. Along the way, you may feel that it is too sticky. If this happens after you have already kneaded the dough for about 5 minutes, simply add more of the softest flour, Tipo 00.
My pasta dough is too dry
If your dough is too dry after 5 minutes of kneading, gently spray it with water, or lightly dampen your hands. Pasta dough is very forgiving.
Once you have kneaded it for up to 10 minutes, dust it in more soft flour, cover it and leave it to rest for up to 30 minutes. Once the pasta dough is ready, at this stage you could place it into a ziploc bag and freeze it. You can also store it in this way in the refrigerator, for up to 2 days.