Pasta fresca (fresh pasta) recipe from our Tuscan chefs
No better source exists for a fresh pasta recipe than an authentic Italian chef. That’s why we’ve asked our hosts in Tuscany at their Italian cookery school to share theirs.
Seriously, does it get more Italian than that?
- 400g of flour
- 4 eggs
- 4 tbs of white wine (optional)
- pinch of salt
1. On a work surface, preferably wooden, build the flour into a mound and make a well in its centre (so it looks like a large volcano).
2. Break the eggs into the well. Mix the wine and salt and put them in the well as well.
3. With a fork, lightly beat the eggs in the well so they are mixed. Then, in a circular motion, gradually incorporate flour from the sides of the well until all the flour is combined with the eggs. Wah-lah! You now have your dough.
4. With the heel of your hand, knead the dough by pushing it down and away, turning it repeatedly and using a dough scraper if it sticks to the surface. Continue this for at least 15 to 20 minutes until it is smooth and elastic.
Anytime it sticks to the surface or seems a bit soft or gooey, sprinkle it with flour.
5. Gather the dough into a ball, and decide on the type of pasta you want to make.
For lasagne, tagliatelle, ravioli, etc. roll it flat. Cook following instructions at bottom.
For noodle pasta, roll and form it this way:
a. On a clean surface dusted with flour, flatten the kneaded dough with your hand. Then, with a flour-dusted rolling pin, roll it out to your desired thickness.
b. Once it’s at the thickness you need, loosely roll it up around the rolling pin, and then unroll it onto a flour-dusted kitchen towel. Leave it until it is dry to the touch but still flexible (about 10 minutes, less if the air is dry).
c. Then, on a work surface, roll the pasta into a cylinder. With a small, sharp knife, cut crosswise into ribbons of desired width. Cook according to instructions below.
A note on cooking pasta from our chefs
Both fresh and dried pasta should be cooked ‘al dente’, or ‘tender to the tooth’ — meaning tender but chewy. Many (most!) people overcook their pasta and don’t put enough (if any!) salt in the water.
Use a large pot, so pasta can float freely during cooking. Bring the water to a full, roiling boil, salt it generously, and then add the pasta. As soon as the water returns to a boil, you can start timing the pasta.
Make sure to stir during the boil to prevent it sticking together. The time varies depending on the pasta, though fresh pasta usually takes about 2 to 4 minutes depending on the thickness and dried pasta usually takes about 8 to 12 minutes.
If you’re cooking stuffed pasta like ravioli, it’s also helpful to remove the pasta from the water with a slotted spoon instead of by tipping it into a colander, as stuffed pasta is more delicate.
More about cooking in Italy…
Interested in joining these professional Italian chefs on an immersive cooking holiday? You can learn more classic recipes alongside them, and come home an Italian sous chef in your own rite.