When I was in my early twenties, I took a trip with my family to Italy, and my love of fresh pasta was born. Through the years, I have tested recipes in the pursuit to recreate the pasta experience I had then. I have found a couple of simple truths: quality and fresh flour are essential, use filtered water, and the hydration of the dough is key to success. The recipe I have here works well in Denver, Colorado. If you are at a higher altitude, you may need a little more water. Likewise, closer to sea level, you will need less water.
I stone milled organic durum wheat berries for a more nutrient-dense and flavorful final product. If you do not want to mill your own grains, store-bought durum flour works great for this recipe. I begin by scaling out all ingredients.
Combine the two flours on a clean work station in an oval shape with high walls, like a volcano. Next, put the egg yolks and 1 tablespoon of water in the center of the flour. Use a fork to slowly combine the flour and egg. Start slow it can be a real mess if your egg yolks breach the flour wall.
Once the mixture has the consistency of really wet sand, you can ditch the fork and finish incorporating the mixture by hand. Knead the dough for twenty minutes. It is vital to knead your pasta dough. The kneading process helps develop gluten, which creates the stretchy textures and the bite.
Once you have kneaded your dough, wrap it in plastic wrap or cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rest for 40 minutes. The resting time is crucial because it allows for the water to completely absorb into the flour. The gluten you developed by kneading also needs time to relax. If you do not let your pasta rest, it will tear and not be workable.
After the dough has rested, roll the dough out before using a rolling pin, bottle of wine, or whatever you have handy. Once rolled out thin enough to read a menu through shape as desired.
Egg yolk pasta dough is excellent for shaped pasta dough. It has a rich flavor that holds up worthy of ragouts.
Egg Yolk Pasta Dough Recipe
I milled my own grains for this recipe but it will work with store bought semolina as well.
4 oz Double OO Pasta Flour
6 oz Egg Yolk
2 tbl spoon Water
4 oz Durum
Knead dough for 20 mins
Cover dough with plastic and rest for 40 mins