Fresh Pasta Recipe

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The preparation of fresh pasta was once a Saturday ritual in the Tuscan home.
The flour was mixed with egg yolks, sometimes including the whites, and a little water. It was turned into different dishes, such as ravioli and pappardelle.
Tuscan ravioli are filled only with ricotta and spinach. Pappardelle are simply thicker tagliatelle. A variety of sauces dressed the pasta: the classic beef ragout, hare sauce if the hunting party had been successful, or duck sauce made from the so called nana, always present in old Tuscan farmyards.

This is the basic preparation for egg pasta dough.

500 grams of flour, 3 eggs, water, salt

Place the flour in a heap on a flat surface, make a well in the center and crack the eggs into it, adding water and salt. Pour very little water at the beginning, and add more only if the dough needs more moisture while you are kneading it. Mix together and knead with energy until all the ingredients have blended into a smooth and silky dough. Make a ball with the dough, wrap it in a tea clot and leave it to rest for 15 minutes. Roll out as thinly as possible into sheets, using a rolling pin. If you have a hand pasta machine, this is the time to pull it out, as you will have a hell of a time rolling it out even and flat by hand. If you want to do it the original way, use a rolling pin.

The sheets of pasta should be left to dry for about 40 minutes, flat on the kneading table. Then roll each sheet into a 7 to 8 centimeters (3 inches) long roll. Keep the rolls small, about 2 centimeters and a half (an inch) in diameter. Now with a sharp even-blade knife cut each roll in stripes.

Depending on the size of the pasta you want to make, you will need to make cuts of different sizes. Follow these measurements:
Taglierini: very close cuts of 2 to 4 millimeters
Tagliatelle: 6 millimeter slices
Pappardelle: slices of over one centimeter (half inch)

Now open up the little sliced rolls and lay the resulting pasta ribbons on a cloth to dry before cooking.
To cook, fill a large pot with water and bring to boiling point over a high flame, then add salt and throw in the pasta. As soon as the pasta comes up to the surface, drain it and add the sauce.

This rolled out dough is also the base for all types of pastas with a filling (ravioli, tortellini, etc.).