Tonight, I decided to tackle making fresh pasta at home. It turned out perfectly chewy and satisfying. I made it in the style of carbonara, a rich and cheesy pasta dish with pancetta and olive oil.
Ingredients for the Pasta:
4 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
Ingredients for the Carbonara:
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 oz. pancetta
1 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
4 large eggs, separated
Freshly ground black pepper.
In a glass measuring cup, mix the whole eggs, egg yolks, olive oil and a pinch of salt. Put the flour in a food processor. Drizzle the egg mixture over the flour and process in long pulses until the dough is evenly moistened and forms small clumps, about 2 minutes. Transfer the dough to a work surface and knead until smooth and silky, about 2 minutes. Shape into a ball, wrap in plastic and let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes or refrigerate overnight.
Cut the dough into quarters; work with 1 piece at a time and keep the rest covered. Flatten the dough slightly and run it through successively narrower settings on a pasta machine until you reach the last setting. Trim the ends and cut the pasta sheet into 12-inch lengths.
Lightly flour 2 pasta sheets and stack them on top of each other. Starting at a short end, roll up the sheets very loosely. Trim the edges and, using a large knife, cut the rolled dough into 1/4-inch-wide strips. Unroll the strips, toss lightly with flour and transfer to a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Repeat the process with the remaining sheets of pasta. Toss the cut pasta occasionally to separate the strands.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until barely al dente, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 1/2 cups of the cooking water.
Meanwhile, combine the olive oil and pancetta in a 12- to 14-inch sauté pan set over medium heat, and cook until the pancetta has rendered its fat and is crispy and golden. Remove from the heat and set aside (do not drain the fat).
Add the reserved pasta water to the pan with the pancetta, and then toss in the pasta and heat, shaking the pan, for 1 minute. Remove from the heat, add 1 cup of the Parmigiano, the egg whites, and pepper to taste, and toss until thoroughly mixed. The residual heat from the pasta will cook the eggs, but be careful not to let them scramble.
Divide the pasta among four warmed serving bowls. Make a nest in the center of each one, and gently drop an egg yolk into each nest. Season the egg yolks with more pepper and sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup Parmigiano over the top. Serve immediately.
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