Flour, farina, in Italy is sold in five grades according to how refined it is. ‘O’, zero, flour is the second most refined type, and the ideal choice for making pasta. It is available from supermarkets and delicatessens. Alternatively, ‘00’, doppiozero, and regular plain flour may be substituted.
To make pasta, use 200 g of ‘O’ flour or ‘00’ flour, plus 20 g extra flour (if sticky when kneading) per 2 eggs, uova.
Make a mound of flour on a work surface, create a well in the centre, centro, and break eggs into it.
Using a fork, forchetta, beat the eggs (and spinach, spinaci, if making green pasta for example), drawing flour until mixture is thick, then work in the remaining flour with your hands.
Knead the dough by hand for 6 minutes; it should be firm, smooth and not sticky. Add extra flour, if necessary (you will need it if adding spinach), to correct the consistency.
Divide dough in half; for three-egg dough, divide into four; and for five-egg dough, into six. While working with one portion of dough, keep the remaining portions covered to prevent them from drying out.
With a rolling pin, mattarello, flatten 1 portion of dough until 3 mm thick and about 12 cm wide – nearly the width of your pasta machine.
Set your pasta machine at its widest setting (one), then feed the dough through, narrowing the settings on your machine one notch at a time (the highest number being the thinnest setting), until you reach six.
Repeat with the remaining dough.
For filled pasta, pasta ripiena, once you have rolled out 1 sheet, fill it immediately, so the sheet remains pliable.
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