Fresh Basil Pasta
Adapted from Alice Water’s recipe, as published in The Art of Simple Food.
To make spinach pasta, Alice recommends gently sautéing ¼ pound of fresh spinach in a little bit of butter. Cook until tender, cool and squeeze dry, and blend until smooth with one egg and one egg yolk. Use this pureé in place of the eggs.
About four servings.
|unbleached all-purpose flour||2 cups|
|egg yolks||2||at room temperature|
|whole eggs||2||at room temperature|
|fresh basil||¼ cup||minced|
- Measure out the flour and place in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour mound.
- Mix eggs and yolks in a separate bowl. Break up yolks and whites with a fork, as if you’re fixin’ to scramble them. Add basil.
- Pour the egg mixture into the flour well.
- Mix with a fork, then with your hand when the flour is too stiff. Add a little bit of water if the dough is too crumbly. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead until a smoothish dough forms.
- Divide and form two discs.
- Wrap discs in plastic and let sit at room temperature for at least an hour. This gives the gluten some time to relax and makes it much easier to roll and stretch out later.
You can roll out pasta by hand, or use a machine. I used a machine.
- Pass the disc through the machine at its widest settling. Fold in thirds and pass through the machine again. Repeat twice, or until the surface of the dough is smooth and shiny.
- Continue to pass dough through the machine, gradually decreasing the space between rollers until desired thinness is achieved.
- Cut to desired shape and length.
- Fresh pasta absorbs a lot of water when it cooks, so use a generous amount of lightly salted, vigorously boiling water.
- Fresh pasta also cooks very quickly, about three to six minutes.
If you’re not going to cook the pasta right away after cutting it, toss in a little bit of flour, lay out on a sheet pan, cover with parchment or a towel, and refrigerate.