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Semolina and Egg Pasta Dough

Serves: Makes 4 to 6 servings


  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ teaspoon plus 3 tablespoons coarse salt
  • 1 cup fine semolina flour, plus more for dusting sheet pans
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting


Look for fine semolina (durum-wheat) flour in large supermarkets, specialty-food stores, or health-food stores. If you can’t find it, use bread flour, which has a higher percentage of gluten than does all-purpose flour, in its place. For flouring the work surface, your hands and the pasta machine, use a light dusting of all-purpose flour.

Place the eggs and ½ teaspoon of the salt in a food processor and pulse until well blended. gradually add the semolina and all-purpose flours, alternating between them and processing for a few seconds after each addition until a stiff dough forms. remove the blade and, with floured hands, remove the dough from the food processor bowl.

Lightly dust a work surface with flour, and place the dough on it. Knead the dough, adding more flour to the surface as needed to prevent sticking, for at least 5 minutes, or until the dough springs back lightly when pressed with a fingertip. if the dough is too stiff, sprinkle it with a teaspoon of water and work the water into the dough to loosen it. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.

When ready to roll out the dough, follow the manufacturer's instructions to secure the pasta machine to one edge of a countertop or large table. Using a large knife or a bench scraper, divide the dough into 4 equal pieces, and cover 3 pieces with the bowl to prevent them from drying out. Use the heel of your hand to press the dough into an oval. Dust your hands with flour if the dough feels sticky.

Dust 2 rimmed sheet pans with semolina flour, and ready some clean kitchen towels. Position the pasta machine rollers at number 1, or at the widest opening. Dust the rollers lightly with flour. With one hand, guide the oval of dough between the rollers while turning the crank with the other hand. Fold the dough into thirds to make a rectangle and roll it through again. repeat one more time. Then move the rollers one notch smaller and, without folding into thirds, roll the dough through this setting. As the dough comes through the rollers, hold it so it stays as smooth as possible. Continue rolling, narrowing the rollers by one notch each time, until you reach setting number 5, which is just about the right thickness for this dough. As you roll the dough, sprinkle it lightly with flour if it becomes sticky. When the pasta is ready, set it aside on a prepared sheet pan.

Repeat with the remaining dough pieces, stacking the pasta sheets on the pan and covering each layer with a clean kitchen towel to keep the dough from drying out or the sheets from sticking to one another.

When the pasta sheets are ready, carefully measure the wired surface of the chitarra. Cut the pasta sheets to fit down inside the wooden frame, and then lay a piece over the wires. Place the roller on the pasta perpendicular to the wires and roll and press to cut the sheet into long strands. lift the roller and “strum” the wires to release any strands left on the wires. Transfer the pasta strands to the prepared sheet pans and cover with a kitchen towel. repeat with the remaining dough sheets. The strands can be cooked right away or they can sit, covered with a towel, for several hours.

Place the pasta insert in an 8-quart stockpot or pastacooking pot and fill the pot three-fourths full with water. if not using the pasta insert, fill an 8-quart pot threefourths full with water. Bring the water to a boil. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of salt and the pasta. Cook, stirring gently once or twice to keep the strands from sticking to one another, for 3 to 5 minutes, until al dente (firm to the bite).

Place the pasta-serving bowl in the sink. If using the pasta-cooking insert, carefully lift it from the boiling water, allow the hot water to drain back into the pot, and then place it in the pasta-serving dish to finish draining. if not using the pasta-cooking insert, place a colander in the serving bowl in the sink and drain the pasta. immediately tip any hot water out of the serving bowl so the pasta can continue to drain. When fully drained combine with a sauce and serve.

by Sur La Table & Andrews McMeel Publishing

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