Pasta! It’s so simple, and it delights so many – I’m exceedingly happy that the High Master allowed me to learn this. I’ve taken to explaining it to the commonfolk as being “similar to bread, covered in sauces, meats, vegetables, and cheeses”. That seems to be enough to get them to sample it, and it’s gone over well!

 

Basic Pasta Dough: Put 2 ½ cups flour on a surface and create a well in the middle, then break 4 eggs and 1 tbsp olive oil into the center of it. Mix them with your fingertips until well combined, then begin to knead for ten to fifteen minutes, until dough is smooth. Allow to rest 25 minutes before rolling or using for pasta. If needing to roll into a sheet first, make sure that the pasta sheet is thin enough you can see your fingers through it.

Mix-Ins: When pasta is to be flavored, the flavoring should be added at the same time as the eggs and oil. A few tablespoons of herbs (pureed for a very green colored pasta), two pinches of saffron for gold pasta, dried spicy peppers made into puree for a kick, pureed roasted beet for purple pasta, one tsp of squid ink for a dark salty pasta, two tbsp of tomato paste for a red pasta.

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TYPES OF PASTA

Linguine: Use a sheet of pasta, and allow it to sit for 10 to 15 minutes to “firm up”. Fold dough into three strips until the entire sheet is folded up. Take a knife, and cut across the roll at 1/8 inch. Unroll and allow to hang on a drying rack (or across the back of a chair) for 15 minutes before cooking.

Fettuccine: Use a sheet of pasta, and allow it to sit for 10 to 15 minutes to “firm up”. Fold dough into three strips until the entire sheet is folded up. Take a knife, and cut across the roll at 1/6 inch. Unroll and allow to hang on a drying rack (or across the back of a chair) for 15 minutes before cooking.

Pappardelle: Use a sheet of pasta, and allow it to sit for 10 to 15 minutes to “firm up”. Fold dough into three strips until the entire sheet is folded up. Take a knife, and cut across the roll at ¾ inch. Unroll and allow to hang on a drying rack (or across the back of a chair) for 15 minutes before cooking.

Lasagna: Allow pasta sheet to dry for 15 minutes. Cut sheet into a 9 x 13 inch rectangle. Using a fluted pastry wheel, cut strips 3 to 3 ½ inches wide.

Fusilli: Dry pasta sheet 10 minutes, cut into 3 inch strips. Cut across these strips to make each piece 1/16 inch by 3 inch. Using a wooden strip that’s heavily floured, wrap dough strands in a spiral. Allow to dry prior to cooking.

Farfalle: Use a sheet of pasta. Cut into 1 by 1 ½ inch rectangles, and take a fluted knife or cutter to each side to form the “bow”s edges. Pinch the center so both sides fold up and meet in the middle. Firmly pinch together.

Ravioli: Spoon one to two tablespoons of your choice of filling across the pasta sheet with an inch of space between each bit. Brush water on the exposed pasta, then lay the second pasta sheet on top and press down with fingers to seal. Cut using a fluted pastry cutter or knife, into square shapes. Press once more to completely seal.