Buona primavera!! Happy Spring!!
It was around this time of year in 2021 when I initiated Programma Pasta as a way to exercise making dough and eat the results. Since then, I have made lots of tagliatelle and ravioli pastas as well as yeasted breads like pitas, dinner rolls, pizza dough and croissants… and I have learned so much along the way. As your guide to all things Italian, I’m hoping my adventures in the kitchen can pave the way to your pasta perfections!
Numero Uno: Use “Type 00” flour, no matter what. Don’t even try with All Purpose flour, the gluten content is not high enough to create a stretchy dough and will result in weird thick dough that flakes when you try to roll it. I’m not a cheerleader for Amazon, but if I can help with your pasta success, please shop here.
Numero Due: Mix the dough so it is crumbly with bits of flour around it. If it’s moist and sticky to the touch while mixing, it’s too wet and won’t roll into silky thin sheets.
Numero Tre: The dough must rest. Take a nap after all that kneading and give dough time for the flour to saturate, it won’t be crumbly after an hour and the flour bits will soak through, making it the perfect consistency for rolling.
Numero Quattro: Wrap the dough well while it’s (and you are) resting. Tightly wrap the dough in a plastic wrap and leave it on the counter (if using within a few hours… there are raw eggs in it, ya know). Wrap the remaining dough in between batches, if it dries out, it’s unworkable and almost impossible to re-hydrate.
Do you have a favorite pasta recipe? I find this Basic Pasta Dough Recipe from NY Times Cooking pretty spot on, if you want it and don’t have a subscription, reply to this email and I’ll send you a PDF copy (shh… don’t tell, but also, this is a very Italian thing to do).
Happy dough making, eating and sharing!