Thomas Keller’s Pasta

I only have one thing to say about Thomas Keller’s recipes – every single one is perfect. I don’t think even one of his recipes or books has one single formula that doesn’t come out perfectly every single time. His measurements and instructions are just a pleasure to read – he is so detail oriented and such a perfectionist. And makes it such a pleasure even for amateur, home cooks like me.

This is a weekend dedicated to my younger daughter. All she wanted for this weekend is to cook and bake with me. So we’re going to make quite a bit this weekend. Yesterday we made Parmesan risotto with peas. Today, we made ravioli for lunch with honey-garlic-balsamic roasted carrots. Our afternoon bake is Thomas Keller’s olive oil cake, which she has literally had bookmarked to make with me 6 months ago!

The pasta dough was literally perfect. I’m never going to try another formula ever again. It’s a very rich dough but super silky smooth and so easy to do.

7-yolk Pasta dough

1 3/4 cups tipo 00 flour

6 large egg yolks

1 large egg

1 1/2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp milk

Mound the flour on a clean work surface. Make a large well in the center. Add in the yolks, egg, milk and oil.

With two fingers, in a swirling motion, keep swirling the wet ingredients and SLOWLY incorporate the flour bit by bit.

When most of the flour has been incorporated, use a pastry scraper to add the flour from the sides. Keep kneading with the heel of your hand in a swift motion away from you towards the table top. Almost as if you are pushing the flour into the table with the heel of your hand.

Knead for at least 15 minutes. There’s no harm of over kneading the dough. As a Keller says, when you pinch the dough it should be as soft as your ear lobe!

Once kneaded, the dough will become silky smooth.

Wrap in two layers of cling wrap and set aside to rest for 1/2 hour.

The pasta is now ready to be cut or rolled out in to the shape of your choice.

We chose to make ravioli with a feta and spinach filling. We mixed together feta with spinach that’s been blanched and dried, with salt, pepper, garlic powder and crushed red pepper for some heat.

We rolled out the pasta in 2 long sheets, until the 5th setting on the pasta roller (Of course you can also hand roll it).

It was super thin – enough to actually see the filling through the dough. Dot one sheet with the filling.

Cover with a second layer of pasta.

Cut out your ravioli and seal with water on the edges, making sure you press the air out of the ravioli before you seal it.

Put a pot of salted water to boil. Add the ravioli and boil until they float to the top.

We ate it with a butter garlic sauce. Just melt some butter in a pan, add sliced garlic and sauté for a bit. Add the cooked ravioli and toss with the sauce.

Serve warm.

This was just a fabulous activity to do with the kids. My daughter loved making the dough and getting her hands in the flour and eggs, dancing the whole time while she rolled out the pasta!

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