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Nick Bell’s egg pasta dough

  • serves 4
  • A little effort

Nick Bell, head chef of Italian restaurant Apsleys at The Lanesborough, says the secret to making good pasta dough is to use 00 (double zero) pasta flour as it is finer than ordinary flour, and to make your dough as elastic as the recipe requires it to be. His rule of thumb is to use 1 medium egg per 100g 00 flour – this will give a firm dough that works well for long pasta such as tagliatelle, pappardelle and spaghetti. If you want to use the dough to make shaped pasta such as ravioli or tortellini, you need more elastic dough because you’ll need to pull it into shape without it shrinking. Eggs add elasticity to dough so to use this pasta recipe for ravioli or tortellini add another yolk to this quantity of dough. The other important factor in making good pasta dough is to make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature. You can roll and fold the dough by hand but a pasta machine will make things easier.

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Ingredients

  • 00 flour 300g
  • egg yolks if making shaped pasta

Method

  • Step 1

    Put the flour, eggs and a pinch of salt in a food processor and whizz until it starts to clump. Tip onto a lightly floured surface and knead to a stiff ball, working it until it is smooth. Divide into 2 and wrap in clingfilm. Chill for an hour.

  • Step 2

    Flatten one piece to about ½ cm with a rolling pin then pass it through the widest gauge on a pasta machine, fold it in half then reroll and fold seven times in all until it is roughly rectangular in shape and the surface looks shiny. Cover with clingfilm. Repeat with the other piece of dough.

  • Step 3

    Now roll each piece of dough out by passing it through the pasta machine, dropping the width setting each time until it is as thin as you want it. Check on the last rolling that the pasta isn’t shrinking back once you have rolled it, if it is, roll it another couple of times on this setting. Keep the piece you are not working on covered. Once the pieces are rolled out, cut into strips for tagliatelle or sheets for lasagne or shaped pastas.

  • Step 4

    Cook straight away in salted boiling water for 2-3 minutes. If you’re worried about your pasta sticking, sprinkle with semolina flour or polenta but don’t use ordinary flour or it will turn gluey when you cook it.

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 368
  • Fat 30.8g
  • Saturates 7.8g
  • Carbs 233.1g
  • Fibre 9.3g
  • Protein 54.2g
  • Salt 0.69g
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