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Fresh Pasta Dough and Bruised Forearms?

As an avid lover of all things Italian it is was only fitting that my first recipe shoot should be an authentic Italian recipe and you don’t get more Italian than fresh pasta and you don’t get a better American-Italian chef than Mario Batali. A chef, media personality, author, restauranteur, and orange croc lover Batali is one of the most recognized chefs in the world. (Trust me if I could make crocs work like this guy I’d wear them all the time too.)

Pasta0004Now for the recipe. I began the khphoto-3classic italian way by making a “well” in the center of four cups of all-purpose flour. Then cracked four large eggs into the center. I would also like to point out that shot on the right I got on the first try and by cracking the egg with one hand (*pats self on back*).  Using a fork I then beat the eggs and slowly incorporated the flour gradually adding more and more flour until the dough was starting to form. Continue to knead the dough for about nine minutes or if you have zero percent muscle like me it might take a little longer. Incorporate the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

At this point I really wanted to use a pasta machine because it makes the process look so effortless and beautiful when it is all rolled out. Unfortunately, I am on a college budget and wasn’t really willing to fork out $35 for a pasta machine but if you are going to make fresh pasta and you aren’t a hard core Italian mom or a body builder then I would seriously recommend investing the money. (I would recommend this one if you are on a budget). I decided to be tough and roll out the dough by hand instead of by machine and let me tell you it took a good three days for my hands to stop hurting after. My hands hurt so bad that I eventually started using my forearms to roll the pin and lets just say they turned a beautiful black and blue and my dad called me a knucklehead. Moral of the story: don’t be cheap…. buy the machine.

khphoto-6khphoto-4Once I was done bruising my forearms I continued on to cutting the pasta. Since I rolled the dough by hand it turned out a little thicker than your normal pasta but it tasted just as good. I decided to cut a papardelle pasta which is about 1/2 inch wide noodles but you could do tagliatelle, tagliarini, or whatever  size you want.

khphoto-7khphoto-12I also made Uova da Raviolo (ravioli with egg yolk inside) using Williams Sonoma ravioli stamp (you can also use a fluted pastry wheel). My intention when making the ravioli was purely photographic because I really wanted to capture the egg yolk but didn’t have a huge interest to eat it.Despite overly thick pasta I would consider this shoot to be a great success considering I may or may not have teared up when I got that first shot of the egg falling into the well. Although next time I will definitely buy the pasta machine!

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