Saturday, November 21, 2015

Introduction to Fresh Pasta: a tribute to Philadelphia

Living in Philadelphia for four years brought out the foodie in me. Although many know the city of brotherly love for it's Philly cheese steak, Philly is a true foodie paradise with so much more to offer than a meat hoagie with cheese whiz. It is a compact walkable city with anything and everything you could think of from food carts to hole-in-the-wall restaurants to gastropubs to affordable fine dining. Philadelphia was my introduction to real Italian food, to Di Bruno Bros and Capogiro gelato, to fresh pasta, and not to mention, to the love of my life. But we will save that story for another time. Today we talk of pasta, not those bow-ties that come in a box, but REAL pasta -- fresh handmade pasta. Silky smooth in texture, with a delicate bite, fresh pasta is much lighter than dried box pasta. It is a compilation of different types of flours, egg, and water. I've made different pasta recipes before, but when my friend Brian introduced me to this recipe by Marc Vetri, there was no going back. Vetri is one of the most renowned Italian chefs in Philly and has opened 6 restaurants, of which Vetri is the most well known. Unfortunately I have not had the pleasure of dining at Vetri, but it is most definitely on my must try list. 

Vetri's Pasta Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours
Servings: 6

1 1/4 cup Tipo 00 flour
1/3 cup semolina flour
9 large egg yolks
4 tsp water
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1. Combine both flours
2. Either on a mat or in a mixing bowl, create a well in the middle of the flour
3. Add egg yolks, water, and EVOO to the middle of the well
4. Using a fork, stir flour into the wet mixture. Mix until combined
5. Knead dough for 5 minutes until dough is smooth and silky in texture without any grainy lumps
6. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap.
7. Rest in refrigerator for at least 1 hour until use
8. Prior to rolling, let dough thaw at room temperature for 1 hour
9. Rolling the dough is easiest with a pasta roller, but a good old rolling pin can work too 
10. This video from Martha Stewart is a great example of how to roll pasta dough
11. Cut dough into thirds then into halves for total 6 pieces. 
12. Dust your pasta machine with 00 flour mixed with semolina flour 
13. On setting 1, roll pasta dough through the machine
14. Fold dough in half "hamburger" style and feed through machine again on setting 1. Repeat this 1-2 more times to give dough more texture. Dust dough with flour prior to next step.
15. Next, turn machine to setting 2 and feed dough through machine. Repeat fold and feed steps 2 more times. (You will be pressing dough 3 times on each setting). Repeat on next settings until you get your desired thickness. I usually stop after setting 5.
16. Cut dough as desired for spaghetti or fettucchini or leave dough whole for ravioli or lasagna. 
17. Dry on a pasta drying rack for 5-10 minutes prior to cooking. 
18. To cook, bring water to a boil with oil and salt. Add pasta and cook for 2-3 minutes to desired consistency. If frozen, cook for 5-6 minutes. 

Use this pasta recipe to make Butternut Squash Ravioli!

No comments:

Post a Comment