Fresh Egg Pasta Dough
2 ¾ C unbleached all-purpose flour, more for kneading
4 large eggs + 1 yolk
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp kosher salt
Place the flour into the work-bowl of your food processor. Whisk together the eggs, egg yolk, extra virgin olive oil and salt until evenly combined. With the food processor running, pour the egg mixture in through the feed tube and process until a rough dough comes together. If the mixture is too dry, add a little warm water until it gathers into a slightly sticky dough.
If you don’t have a food processor you can mix the dough by hand by placing the flour in a mound on your work surface. Make a well in the center of the mound (like a volcano) down to the work surface and pour the beaten egg mixture into the well. Beat the egg mixture with a fork and slowly pull in a bit of the flour from the sides into the eggs and beat it in, continuing until the mixture has thickened and formed a dough that is too thick to mix with the fork. Use a bench scraper to help as you begin kneading the dough by hand as described below.
Lightly flour your countertop or a large wooden board and dump the pasta onto it. Lightly flour the top of the dough and knead the pasta for about 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic, using a little flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking to your hands or the counter. Round the pasta into a smooth ball then transfer it to an airtight container or wrap tightly with plastic wrap and let rest for at least 1 hour at room temperature (or refrigerate for up to 24 hours) before shaping.
A pasta machine is the easiest way to roll and shape the pasta, but if you don’t have one, you can roll it out by hand. If the dough was refrigerated, let it rest at room temp for 1-2 hours before stretching/shaping. Cut the dough into 6 pieces. Work with one piece at a time, leaving the remaining pieces covered. Flatten the dough into a small 2”x6” rectangle, lightly flour it and pass it thought the widest setting on the pasta machine. Fold in half and repeat 2-3 times using only a tiny bit of flour if the dough is sticky. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough, covering those you aren’t rolling. Now you are ready to stretch each piece. Decrease the setting on the pasta machine by one notch and run each piece of dough through the machine (try to work in the same order so there a little rest between each run through the machine). As the dough comes through the rollers catch and guide it out – don’t pull and stretch the dough further. Lay the sheets of dough out on the lightly floured counter and cover with a clean towel between runs through the pasta machine. Repeat, reducing setting by 1 notch each run, until you reach the thickness you prefer (I find the narrowest setting on my pasta machine too thin so I stop on the second to last). If the dough gets too long, cut in half to make it easier to manage. Let rest 30 minutes before running through the cutters. If making lasagna, manicotti or cannelloni the dough can be cut to length and used as is.
To Inlay Fresh Herbs for “Handkerchief” Pasta: wash and thoroughly dry any tender fresh herbs – basil, parsley, cilantro, chervil, oregano, marjoram all work well – you want only the leaves with no thick stems.
Once the pasta is rolled to the desired thickness arrange the herb leaves over one strip of dough and lay a second strip of dough over top and press down with your hands to sandwich the herbs in between. Increase the width of the rollers by one notch and run the pasta through. Decrease one notch and run through again – this will stretch out the herb leaves and create a beautiful lacy design on the pasta. Use for large ravioli to showcase the beautiful herb design or even to top a lasagna, or for filled cannelloni or manicotti.