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Italian Cooking with Roberto Vicaro: Fresh Egg Pasta

In Italy, it is common to prepare fresh pasta. They say it is this labour of love and passion of cooking Italian cuisine that makes our food truly delicious.

Whether you’re a master chef at home or finding your way around the kitchen, watch this video and let AQUA Forte’s Head Chef, Roberto Vicaro, guide you through three different ways to make this easy egg pasta!

Buon appetito!

Video Transcript

Good morning everyone, my name is Roberto Vicaro and we’re back at the AQUA Forte restaurant kitchen for our new recipe.

Today we’re going to prepare an egg-based pasta and we will do it in three different ways.

The yellow base – egg only
Green – spinach-based
Black – squid ink

So, let’s start with the ingredients of the three doughs that we’re going to make. For each dough we will need:
100g white all-purpose flour
1 egg
A pinch of salt
Water if needed
1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil

If you want to colour the dough you will need:
1 tablespoon of spinach paste (this is very easy to do just boil the spinach and blend it)
½ teaspoon of squid ink for the black dough

So, now let’s start preparing our doughs!

Yellow Dough (the base)

100g white all-purpose flour
1 egg
A pinch of salt
1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil
Water (only if needed)

Start by putting the flour in a bowl. Stir the flour with your hand to create a hole in the middle. Crack your egg and put it in the middle, add a pinch of salt, a teaspoon of oil and then start to mix with a spoon.
Make sure it’s well mixed, if it looks too hard [or dry] we can add a little bit of water. In this case, the egg was quite small, so we need to add some water. When you see the dough starting to form, it means it’s time to start using our hands.

So, now that all the ingredients are combined together, we can move on the cutting board.

Right now, the dough is quite rough, so we have to work with it until it’s very smooth. After 2 – 3 minutes of working with the dough, as you can see, I’m using this part of my hand [bottom of palm] to push it, change direction and do the same.

At this point, you can see the difference in the dough compared to when we started the process. So, now we’ve finished, and you can see we’ve obtained a very smooth dough. Before cooking the pasta, we must rest the dough for at least 20 – 30 minutes, because at that point the dough will be perfect to be worked and to be prepared into the shape of pasta that we will do.

For this dough, we will prepare the ravioli, filled with ricotta cheese and spinach. You can also use the same dough to prepare tagliatelle, lasagne sheets, or any shape of pasta that you really want. At that point, it’s up to your creativity to create what you want.

So, let’s rest the dough for 20 minutes and then will be back to prepare the pasta that we wanted.

Other Dough 

At this point, we can prepare the green and black doughs. It’s absolutely the same process as we did before, the only difference is that we’re adding the special ingredient to colour it.

So again, for each person, we’re going to put:
100g white all-purpose flour, make a hole in the middle, one egg, a pinch of salt, a little bit of EVO oil, and in this case for the green one, we’re going to add the green paste.

The process is absolutely the same. We start to mix with the spoon, and then we prepare the dough. And at the end of the mixing part, we will work it for a few minutes, as you can see it’s already becoming green. We will work it for a few minutes, make it smooth, and let it rest outside for 20 minutes in a bowl covered with some plastic, or like us, a small container closed.

So, we will be back with the three doughs already done, smooth, and rest[ed] to prepare the three different shapes of pasta. For the green one, we will prepare a little, let’s say gnocchi, and for the black one we will prepare tagliolini, that is like the slim version of tagliatelle.

So, after 30 minutes we are back with our rested doughs, and these are the final results. Yellow dough on the egg-based, the green one with spinach paste, and the black one with squid ink.

Just to repeat what we will do next.
With the yellow dough: We will prepare ravioli, stuffed pasta, with the spinach and ricotta cheese.
With the green one: we will prepare small gnocchi, that in Italy we call cavatelli.
And for the black one: we will prepare tagliolini that is like a slim tagliatelle.

So, let’s start the preparation for our three shapes of pasta!

Yellow Dough

Now we’re back with our yellow dough, and we’re making ravioli. Ravioli will be stuffed with spinach and ricotta cheese.

Before we start working on the dough, we will prepare the filling. The filling for this quantity of dough will be:
50g boiled and finely chopped spinach
20g of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
50g Ricotta cheese
Some salt, based on your taste and some pepper as well.

Let’s start mixing the ingredients in a bowl. Add all the ingredients; parmesan, spinach, ricotta cheese, a pinch of salt, some pepper, and let’s start mixing all the ingredients together. This will take like 1 minute, no more than that.

So the filling is done, we can taste to see if it’s good. [For instance, is the saltiness is okay for you]. Once it’s done, we will just put it in the fridge and start to prepare the sheets to fill the ravioli.

Now, we’re working on the dough. We have to roll the dough with our rolling pin, and we have to make a very thin sheet to obtain a rectangular shape, very thin.
On the side keep some flour because you want to avoid the dough sticking on the rolling pin.

Let’s start working, and it will be very important to work the dough in one direction, turn it, and do the other side. We have to be very, very, very strong! Time to time, just use some flour. So we will continue until we obtain a very thin layer.

So, after a while rolling, what we obtained is a very thin sheet, as you can see over here, it’s one millimetre (thick) maybe less. Usually, you can say it’s the right thickness when you can see your hand when you pass it through the back.

Now, what we’re going to do is cut some squares and prepare the ravioli. The squares can be different sizes, it’s really up to you. I would suggest to go for 5 – 6 centimetres squares so that you will obtain 10 – 15 ravioli per portion. So, now let’s start cutting and preparing the ravioli.

Now we’re going to cut the dough. So, around 5cm, and now we cut on the other side. And we go ahead until we obtain all the squares. It is very important that you keep going very fast because if the dough becomes too dry, it will be difficult to prepare the ravioli and close them because the dough is going to break.

So now we have all our squares over here, so let’s prepare like 3 of them. We will make them in the typical shape of tortello. So what we’re going to do, using your hands or whatever, is put a little bit of filling in the middle of each sheet. And at this point, we take our dough, we close it like a triangle, we push it a little bit, trying to remove the air from the inside, and then we just turn the two tips inside, we apply a little pressure and here we have our tortello!

So let’s do it again. We take our dough, we close it like a triangle, we push it just to close it properly, then we turn the ends inside and then squeeze the top. That’s the second one! And finally, let’s do the third one. We take the dough, we close it, we turn, and we press to keep it close and voila!

So we can go ahead and finish them to prepare our amazing tortelli for our ravioli.

So now, that we’ve closed all the squares, we’ve obtained a nice plate of ravioli with this dough. Now we’re going to go ahead with the other two dough. The green and the black to two other shapes of pasta.

Black Dough

So, in the same way that we prepared the plain dough, we will do with the black one. So, we obtain a very thin shape like the one that we obtained before [by rolling the dough]. And now, let’s see how to prepare the tagliolini out of this sheet.

The easiest way to do it is to just roll it [the flat sheet of dough]– just be sure you put enough flour to avoid sticking later on. Roll the dough like this, do you obtain a very thin roll. Just put some extra flour, and now, you just cut it, very thinly like this. [After cutting] you just move it a little bit, put some extra flour, and here you go, your amazing tagliolini! Voila!

Green Dough

At the end, we’ve arrived to the green dough! So for the green dough, we will use a different approach to prepare the cavatelli. We don’t need the rolling pin, we just flat it a little bit [using our hands] and then we cut big chunks like this. And then, one by one we just roll it. We create this [rope like] shape and then cut it into small pieces. And we do the same shape over here and then create the small pieces. And now we’re going to create the cavatelli.

Cavatelli is a very simple pasta. So, what we have to do is just use our thumb and squeeze it against the rolling board and that’s all. We just roll it, and done! Roll it, done. And we’re going ahead until we finish all the dough.

So here we go, we did our three types of pasta, we prepared the tortelli with the yellow dough, the tagliolini with the black dough, and the cavatelli with the green dough.

Stay tuned because we’re going to have upcoming videos with new recipes prepared with the type of pasta that we prepared today.

So, thank you very much from AQUA Forte, and see you soon!

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