This recipe is from the Flour + Water cookbook by Thomas McNaughton. It’s the dough used in the San Francisco restaurant, and it’s used in the Pumpkin Tortelloni with Brown Butter and Sage Sauce recipe. Homemade dough takes a bit of effort, but it’s worth it because of the flavor and texture that you only get with fresh dough.
The good thing about pasta dough is that it all starts off the same way, a pile of flour and some eggs, oil, and salt. If you want a good video overview of the whole process, check out this video. This dough is a bit drier than his, but it’ll give you a good overview of kneading and all that good stuff.
- 2 well-packed cups of flour
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- ½ cup whole eggs (about 2 large eggs)
- ⅓ cup egg yolks (5 to 6 yolks)
- 1½ tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- Find a nice clean surface with a bunch of room. A bit cutting board or a counter will work well.
- Pile the flour on your work surface, and create a mound that is about 8 to 10 inches in diameter at its base. Sprinkle the salt in the middle of the mound. Using the bottom of a measuring cup or a glass, create a well 4 to 5 inches wide, with at least ½ inch of flour on the bottom of the well.
- Use your flour mound as a mixing bowl and slowly add the whole eggs, egg yolks and olive oil to the well that you created. Using a fork, gently beat the eggs without touching the flour walls or scraping through the bottom to the work surface, just like you do at Thanksgiving with the mashed potatoes.
- Then, still mixing, slowly start to incorporate the flour around the edges into the egg mixture, still trying not to mess up the bottom of the flour bowl. If the eggs start to escape, just scoop them back in and remake the wall. Once the dough starts to get thicker and more paste-like, you can mix in the bottom.
- When everything seems to be combined, get ready to get your hands dirty. Use that bench knife to scoop up the dough and flip it over to make sure everything has a little bit of flour on it. You don't want it to stick to you while you start kneading the dough. Form the dough into a single ball with your hands. If it's too sticky, sprinkle a little flour on it. If it's really dry, spritz a bit of water on it. It is a bit of a dry dough, so add water if necessary, small bits at a time.
- Once you have a nice solid mass of dough, scrape off any leftovers that are stuck to the board, because you don't want to incorporate those super dry bits into the dough.
- Begin to knead the dough by driving the heel of your hand into the dough and pushing away from you. Use your other hand to pick it up and rotate it 45 degrees. Repeat and repeat and repeat. Knead for 10 to 15 minutes. When it's ready, it will stop changing appearance and texture. The dough will be firm but bouncy to the touch and have a smooth, silky surface, like Play-Doh. Wrap it up in plastic wrap before proceeding as directed with your recipe.
It’s best to make your dough on the same day that you’re making your pasta, but you can refrigerate it if you need to for up to 2 days. Just make sure you take it out about 30 minutes before you want to start making pasta.
Check out the Tortelloni Recipe here.