Sunday, March 25, 2018

Egg Yolk Pasta Dough for a Torchio

With spring’s arrival, I become less miserly with my local farm eggs. Here’s a recipe for an egg yolk dough suitable for a torchio pasta press. I previously shared a dough recipe (here) that calls for 9 medium egg yolks. The following recipe uses 4 egg yolks and makes approximately 200 grams of bright yellow pasta dough.

115 grams Central Milling Organic Type 00 flour
4 egg yolks
Water, as needed

1. Sift the flour into the bowl of a stand mixer. Weigh the eggs yolks. When making this recipe, I start with approximately 80 grams of egg yolks. In a glass, beat the egg yolk mixture.
2. With the mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and running on low speed, slowly pour the egg yolks into the mixer’s bowl in small batches. Mix the dough for about 2 to 3 minutes. At this point I typically need to add a small amount of water—approximately 6 to 7 grams—to achieve the dough consistency I want. The dough should almost come together into a ball. It should hold together if squeezed, but the dough should not feel tacky or sticky.
3. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Using your hand, bring the dough together into a ball in the mixing bowl. Knead the dough in the bowl or on a work surface for approximately 30 seconds. Form the dough into a log that can slide into the torchio’s chamber. Tightly wrap the dough in plastic and leave it to rest at room temperature for 45 minutes.
I tested the above recipe, which serves 2, using a number of different pasta corta bronze dies from Emiliomiti, including a No. 98 rigatoni and a No. 173 elbow pasta die. Once extruded, I let the pasta air-dry for an hour or two.

To cook the pasta, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fresh pasta, stir, and when the water returns to a boil, cook for approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Taste to determine if the pasta is ready. If so, drain and add the pasta to your ready sauce, mix the two together over heat and cook for about 2 minutes or more until the pasta and sauce marry.

This final mixing/cooking over heat takes pasta and sauce to their intended union. For 200 grams of cooked pasta, I typically have a modest amount of sauce in my pan. I aim for an amount of sauce that will disappear into the pasta as the sauce reduces and thickens with the pasta’s starch. Depending upon my sauce, I might add a handful of grated cheese during this stage and sometimes a splash or two of the pasta’s cooking water to make sure the sauce doesn’t get too thick. When adding cheese and/or pasta water to your pan, consider the amount salt in your sauce lest the finished dish become too salty.

I love the texture of pasta made with egg yolks. But what to do with your 4 leftover egg whites? Try using them to make cookies (here).