Ciao Italia: My Lifelong Food Adventures in Italy
Mary Ann's newest book contains over 150 recipes, 60 gorgeous food photos, and many scenic pictures of Italy taken by Mary Ann on her travels through the years.
MAKES ABOUT 1 1/4 POUNDS
Graziella and Gaetana can make just about every type of fresh pasta including pappardelle, wide noodles so light in texture that it is conceivable that too many could be consumed with no difficulty at all! And that is not surprising, given that the word pappardelle means to gorge! They are often served with wild hare.
3 cups King Arthur™ Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
4 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
Dump the flour in a heap on a work surface and use your hands to make a hole, or fontana as Italian cooks call it, in the middle of the flour. Crack the eggs into the center, add the salt and use your hands to whip them around to break them up.
Begin bringing some of the flour from the inside of the flour wall into the center, mixing it with the eggs. Continue like this until enough of the flour has been added to make a rough looking ball of dough. Push the excess flour aside, and knead the dough until it becomes smooth with no bumpy spots, and it is not sticking to your hands. The dough should feel soft; adding too much flour will produce a dry dough.
Now form the dough into a ball and put it on a lightly floured surface. Put a bowl over the top of it and allow it to rest for about 30 minutes. This will help relax the gluten in the dough and make it easier to roll out.
Cut the dough into thirds and work with one piece at a time; keep the remaining pieces covered so they do not dry out.
Use a rolling pin to roll the pieces out on a lightly floured surface into a 14x16-inch wide rectangle that is about 1/16 of an inch thick. I use a pastry wheel to cut 1/2-inch-wide strips to make the pappardelle. After cutting them, put them on clean towels to dry or to hold until ready to cook them.
To cook pappardelle or any other fresh pasta, start with a large pot of boiling water, at least 4 to 6 quarts of water is my rule. Add 1 tablespoon of salt to the boiling water for every pound of pasta. Add the pappardelle. Remember that fresh pasta cooks in no time at all, and should remain al dente, meaning it should be firm, not mushy but cooked through. Cook the pappardelle for no longer than 3 to 4 minutes. Drain it in a colander and toss it with your favorite sauce.