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Recipe: Making Pasta Dough
- 500 grams Tipo “00” flour
- 250 grams egg yolks (ideally from Jidori hens)
- 1 whole egg
- 15–30 grams milk
- 25 grams extra-virgin olive oil
- Large cutting board or pasta board
- Bench scraper
- Sealable plastic storage bag
How to Make the Dough
In the center of a large cutting board or pasta board, place the flour in a mound. Use a bench scraper in hand, set aside about 1/6 of the flour. This flour is reserved for if your dough is too wet, as it is easier to add flour to a wet dough than to add liquid to a dry dough. Make a large well in the center of the mound. Pour in the yolks, the whole egg, milk, olive oil, and salt. With two fingers, begin swirling the ingredients together, incorporating in flour a little bit at a time, until it becomes a thick paste.
Use the bench scraper to fold flour over the paste and cut in the flour. Once the flour as been incorporated, knead the dough until it resembles a smooth ball. If the dough is very sticky, add a small amount of the reserve flour as needed.
It takes practice to know when the dough has reached the right tightness. Put dough into a sealable plastic storage bag and refrigerate at least 4–5 hours so that the gluten has time to relax before rolling out the pasta. The dough can also be made a day ahead.
A chitarra, which translates to “guitar” in Italian, is a piece of equipment developed in the late 1800s to cut spaghetti. It’s shaped somewhat like a guitar, with fine steel strings through which you push the pasta dough. The strings cut the dough into thin spaghetti noodles. Note the difference in shape between these noodles and boxed spaghetti, which is round because it is made with an extruder. Most boxed pasta is only made with water and flour.
Recipe: Spaghetti Alla Chitarra
- Pasta dough, rolled to 1/16 inch
- Tipo “00” flour for dusting
- Chef’s knife
- Cutting board
- 2 parchment-lined baking sheets
- Rolling pin
- Bench scraper
How to Make the Spaghetti Alla Chitarra
Roll the pasta sheet to slightly less than the thickness of a spaghetti noodle. Trim your sheet of pasta dough so that it fits over the strings of the chitarra. Allow the pasta sheet to dry for a few minutes before rolling—this will help keep the strands separated. Roll the rolling pin over the pasta sheet to push it through the steel strings. Spread noodles out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and set aside to dry.
Recipe: Making Spaghetti Aglio e Olio
Aglio e olio, meaning garlic and olive oil, is a simple dish, though here Chef Keller elevates it by finishing it with garlic confit and bottarga.
- 60 grams dried spaghetti alla chitarra
- 20 grams garlic confit, puréed
- 20 grams garlic confit cloves (6–8 medium garlic cloves)
- 1 pinch Italian parsley, émincer
- Extra virgin olive oil with a spicy flavor profile
- 1 lemon
- 1 piece bottarga di muggine
- Kosher salt
- 7-quart pasta pentola, water brought to a boil
- 2-quart saucier
- Pasta fork
- Serving bowl
How to Make the Spaghetti Aglio e Olio
Bring water to a simmer in the pasta pentola and lightly season the water with salt. Take care not to over-season the water, as the water will form the basis of the sauce. Blanch the dried pasta for a few minutes until the pasta bends but is still very al dente. When you cook freshly-made spaghetti, the cook time will be much lower than when you cook store-bought dried spaghetti. You should only need to let it cook for a few minutes. Make sure to taste for doneness as it cooks.
Lift the pasta from the water using the strainer basket and transfer to the saucier. Ladle enough of the pasta water to cover the spaghetti and bring the liquid to a simmer. Spoon in the garlic confit purée and stir with the pasta fork to evenly distribute it. Continue to cook the pasta to glaze it in the liquid to sauce consistency. Taste the pasta for doneness. If it requires more time, add more pasta water and continue to cook.
Once the pasta is cooked to your liking, add the confit garlic cloves and heat through. Finish by drizzling in extra virgin olive oil and sprinkling in the parsley. To serve, twist the pasta on the pasta fork and transfer to the serving dish. Spoon the remaining garlic cloves and sauce over the noodles. Finish the dish with more extra virgin olive oil, lemon zest, and grated bottarga. If you cannot source bottarga, the dish is beautiful with only the garlic confit and lemon zest to finish.
How to Store Your Spaghetti
Your options for storing your fresh pasta depend on the shape and thickness of the pasta. For cut pasta like spaghetti alla chitarra, you can dry or freeze the pasta.
Chef Keller prefers to dry his pastas so that he has more time to perfect the cooking to al dente when he is using pasta in a composed dish. You can dry on a sheet pan, which allows the pasta to stay straight and makes for easy handling; or, you can dry as nests on a sheet pan, for more compact storage—but take care, as the noodles can dry unevenly and clump together. Your dried pasta will keep for up to one month.
You can also freeze on a sheet pan and store in a plastic bag, which allows you to keep the short cooking time and properties of fresh pasta, but it requires refrigeration space. Frozen pasta will keep for up to two weeks.