Chef John’s Basic Pasta Dough

Yield 2 pounds raw pasta

Ingredients

  • Eggs        8 each
  • oil, olive 1/2 fl oz
  • salt 1/2 tbl
  • flour, bread 3/4 lb
  • flour, semolina 3/4 lb

Directions

  1. Place the eggs, oil and salt in a large mixer bowl.
  2. Use the paddle attachment to combine.
  3. Add one-third of the flour and stir until the mixture begins to form a soft dough. Remove the paddle attachment and attach the dough hook.
  4. Gradually add more flour until the dough is dry and cannot absorb any more flour.
  5. Remove the dough from the mixer, wrap it well with plastic wrap and set it aside at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes.
  6. After the dough has rested, roll it into flat sheets by hand or with a pasta machine. Work with only a small portion at a time, keeping the remainder well covered to prevent it from drying out.
  7. While the sheets of dough are pliable, cut them into the desired width with a chef’s knife or pasta machine. Sheets can also be used for making ravioli, as illustrated next.
  8. Semolina flour can be substituted for all or part of the bread flour in this recipe, although it makes a stronger dough that is more difficult to work with by hand.

Gnocchi with Prosciutto and Sage Brown Butter Sauce

Yield: 12 Servings

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds (about 4) baking potatoes, like russets
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ tsp white pepper
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Directions

  1. Pierce the potatoes several times so that moisture can escape during baking. Bake the potatoes in a preheated 400 degrees F oven for 1 hour until fork tender. Peel the potatoes while they are still hot and press them through a potato ricer. Put the potatoes in a large bowl with salt, baking powder, nutmeg, pepper, and eggs. Add the flour a little at a time and mix with your hands until the mixture forms a rough dough. Do not over-work the dough. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Gently knead the dough for 1 or 2 minutes until smooth, adding a little bit more flour, if necessary, to keep it from sticking.
  2. Break off a piece of the dough and roll it back and forth into a rope, about the thickness of your index finger. Cut the rope into 1-inch pieces. Gently roll each piece down a wooden gnocchi board while pressing a small dimple with your finger. The gnocchi should be slightly curved and marked with ridges. This will allow the pillows to hold sauce when served.
  3. Boil the gnocchi in batches in plenty of salted water. The gnocchi are done about 2 minutes after they float to the surface, remove with a slotted spoon, and serve. If not cooking immediately, place the gnocchi in a single layer on a baking pan dusted with flour. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 12 hours.
  4. Note: If the gnocchi start to feather and fall apart in boiling water, you need more flour. If the gnocchi don’t float after 2 minutes and are hard, you used too much flour.

Brown butter sauce

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 10 small sage leaves
  • 1 tsp garlic minced
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbsp prosciutto minced
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp minced parsley
  • 1 recipe prepared gnocchi

How to Make It

  • In a medium skillet, cook the butter with the sage until the butter is fragrant and nutty, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the prosciutto, red pepper flakes, pepper, and garlic.
  • Add the simmered gnocchi and cook for 1 minute. Sprinkle the gnocchi with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and parsley.

 Cheese Ravioli

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups whole-milk ricotta

3/4 packed cup grated mozzarella

1/4 cup goat cheese

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

¾ teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 egg, beaten

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the ricotta, mozzarella, goat cheese, Parmesan, breadcrumbs, nutmeg, salt and the pepper.
  2. In a small bowl whisk the egg.
  3. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the edges of the pasta sheets with the egg.
  4. Score pasta sheet with cutter and spoon 1 level tablespoon of the filling into the center of each circle or square
  5. Place another sheet on top and press air out around filling in each ravioli.
  6. Seal the edges firmly and score with a fork
  7. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.
  8. Add the 2 tablespoons salt
  9. Add the ravioli to the water and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but still firm to the bite.
  10. Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove the ravioli and drain in a colander.
  11. Spoon the sauce over the ravioli and serve with additional parmesan and chopped parsley.

Marinara Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 each 15 oz cans crushed tomatoes
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp Basil
  • 1 tsp oregano

Directions:

  1. In a pot heat the oil over a medium-high flame.
  2. Add the onions and garlic and saute until the onions are translucent.
  3. Add the celery, carrots, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
  4. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.
  5. Add the tomatoes, bay leaves, oregano, and basil and simmer uncovered over low heat until the sauce thickens, about 2 hours. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Season the sauce with more salt and pepper, to taste.

Angel Hair Carbonara

Ingredients

  • 2 pound spaghetti or angel hair pasta
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces prosciutto, pancetta or slab bacon, cubed or sliced into small strips
  • 8 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups reserved pasta water
  • 1 cup frrsh parsley, chopped

Directions

  1. Prepare the sauce while the pasta is cooking to ensure that the spaghetti will be hot and ready when the sauce is finished; it is very important that the pasta is hot when adding the egg mixture, so that the heat of the pasta cooks the raw eggs in the sauce.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the pasta and cook until tender yet firm (as they say in Italian “al dente.”) Drain the pasta well, reserving 1 cup of the starchy cooking water to use in the sauce if you wish.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a deep skillet over medium flame. Add the pancetta and saute for about 3 minutes, until the bacon is crisp and the fat is rendered. Toss the garlic into the fat and saute for less than 1 minute to soften.
  4. Add the hot, drained spaghetti to the pan and toss for 2 minutes to coat the strands in the bacon fat. Beat the eggs and Parmesan together in a mixing bowl, stirring well to prevent lumps. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the egg/cheese mixture into the pasta, whisking quickly until the eggs thicken, but do not scramble (this is done off the heat to ensure this does not happen.) Thin out the sauce with a bit of the reserved pasta water, until it reaches desired consistency. Season the carbonara with several turns of freshly ground black pepper and taste for salt. Mound the spaghetti carbonara into warm serving bowls and garnish with chopped parsley. Pass more cheese around the table.