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                                                                                                            Photo by Donna Ruhlman

Summer is flying by too quickly and I've been buried in all the good things–work and family and friends and food.  Ma was here and I showed her the Iron Chef show with Symon v. Bloomfield and she was so enamoured of Symon's idea of putting a yolk inside pasta, I made some for her (above, on a bed of sheep's milk ricotta I got from Paul Minnillo at Baricelli Inn, seasoned with citrus and espelette), served with a simple brown butter sauce.  Sooo. Good . Yolk spills out into the butter.  Then off to NYC to judge an Iron Chef competition, then back home on the 4th for Old Chicago's on the grill at my Dad's and fireworks viewed from the first fairway of a local course, then Pardus, my chef was here, for reasons I won't reveal now, but we cooked a meal that is worth a blog post on it's own.  His visit of course required a two day restoration of the body and soul before work began again.

Yesterday I was with Symon as he was making some of his own egg-yolk-only pasta dough and he said something interesting that I'd never thought about.  He made it very dry and scarcely kneaded it.  I believe in kneading for at least ten minutes till it's satiny smooth, but Symon believes that the key to great texture is in not creating too much of a gluten network (which happens by kneading) so he treated it practically like a pie dough.  It makes sense.  I don't know if I'm willing to give up that satiny pasta dough, but it's an interesting idea, and his ravioli were very tender.  Is this a common thing?  Not kneading?

For those of you wanting to try an egg yolk ravioli, they're very easy.  Marcella Hazan recommends a cup of flour and two eggs to make a pasta dough, mixed and kneaded till it's satiny, about ten minutes.  While it's resting in plastic wrap in the fridge,  mix into a cup of ricotta, citrus zest (any kind you like, lemon and orange are great, maybe a little juice), black pepper, espelette if you have it, some chives or minced shallot if you have it, kosher salt (and taste it for to make sure it's delicious). Make a pillow on the pasta for the yolk, put a little cheese on top to protect the yolk, and fold the pasta over it, using water or egg wash to seal the pasta.  Boil gently for a few minutes and serve with a brown butter and some julienned parsley.  The yellow ooze is worth the effort.

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80 Wonderful responses to “The Tenderness of Pasta”

  • Colin

    Aki and Alex at Ideas in Food posted a blog on cookie dough being vacuum sealed in order to hasten the absorption of flour instead of resting the dough for 2 days. After reading your article on pasta It dawned on me to vacuum seal pasta dough. We came up with a recipe of mostly egg yolk (5 whole eggs-25 yolks)and kneaded the dough to shag. Then we compressed the dough and wow was it tender.

  • Matt W.

    Waaaitaminute. Michael, you can get Vienna Beef dogs up in Cleveland? NOBODY carries them in Columbus, AT ALL. I’ve actually been visiting friends back in Chicago about twice a year and coming back with a cooler full of hot dogs and ice….plus that radioactive green relish!

    I gotta ask about your source, sir. Please, tell!

  • Victoria

    I’m late to comment here, but as I’m writing out the fresh pasta recipe I have used forever, I came back to this post because I loved it so much.

    I noticed, Ruhlman, that you did not answer the question how do you roll the pasta. I would be interested to know if you do everything by hand – mixing, kneading (or not, of course), and rolling.

    This method is haunting. I will be trying it sometime soon. I wonder if Carol did make it for a weekend lunch and how it turned out.

  • luis

    Home made Pasta is here!. Made it in the Kitchen Aid all tha way. It was great that I made it in the first try but the best is still ahead as I improve on every aspect of it. Get it right.. let it rest.. season it properly.. get it to the correct moisture egg flour consistency… Practice makes perfect. I also have a ravioli cutter which will come in super handy for making home made ravioli.
    Not a thirty minute meal although it can/could be for sure. My meals from start to finish including cleaning as I go usually strech closer to an hour /hour and half. Unless they have many ingredients and long cooking times. I don’t know about the breads but making fresh pasta is certainly very doable. It seems it should beat store bought… that remains to be seen. Everyone seemed to enjoy my first batch except maybe me. Because I don’t think its quite there yet.
    I used bread flour which is what I happened to have on hand and there was lots of glutten etc… minor stuff when you are bringing up new techniques. I fully don’t expect to be critical of it until I am past my twentieth batch…by then I expect everything to be worked out from the flour to the sauce and the dish to be as good as I can make it.

  • TSITSI MUVUTI

    i really want to start my own bakery but i am only 17 so can you assite me on how to actually be able to start on for i really admire your work and really want to be like you

  • Robert

    This is a bit late, but I thought I would add it for the record. I tried the basic pasta recipe from Michael’s ratio book. I kneaded half for ten minutes and the other half just enough to hold together. Both were rested in plastic wrap at room temperature for about an hour. I cooked the two batches separately for 4 minutes in salted water tasting as they cooked in case there were differences in cooking time. The results:
    1) Rolling (with a pin) into a thin sheet was much easier with the kneaded dough.
    2) Both had some “resistance” but it was a different type. The dough that was not kneaded felt kind of tough in a way I did not like, while the kneaded dough had more of the “bounce” that others have referred to.
    3) The biggest difference was in the overall texture including the surface of the noodle. The final surface somewhat resembled the original dough with the kneaded dough having a nice slick satiny finish and nice mouth feel. The dough that was not kneaded seemed more “rustic” and grainy.
    So both tasted good but I prefer the kneaded dough. I can see, however, where some might like the result you can get from little kneading.

  • Heather

    You might find it interesting that I recently tried a pasta dough that used…22…yes, 22 egg yolks for 1 lb of pasta
    It is from Roberto Donna’s cookbook. I spoke to him about it and he said he likes it best cut as tagliatele, boiled in chicken stock, and topped with, you guessed it, salt and another egg yolk and tossed to coat.
    The pasta is wonderful, and stays very light through the kneading and rolling

  • We Are Never Full

    I absolutely want a bite of this. I saw a version of this with tonno and an egg on top but the pasta was fried. Add an egg to anything and I’m hooked.

  • luis

    Basically my first pasta experience at home will come after I reconfigure the counter with the Kitchen Aid machine back in and the Imperia pasta roller attachement on the counter. I will roll it out to a 3 or a 5 setting and fold it and using a knife cut it up into a chiffonade tagliatelly style. Also it seems the cooking time for fresh pasta is very quick ~2 to 3 min?. Makes sense I guess I will cross that one in due time.
    In the meantime I have ordered a 2 in hand ravioli cutter which I expect will work just fine to make home made ravioli.

  • Sean

    Yahoo
    To be sure we love our all beef hot dogs here in Chicago! There are many fantastic places.

  • luis

    Been watching pasta making clips on utube. I know how to use the hand cranker Imperia in my pantry now.

    But most impressive is the ease of making the pasta in the Kitchen Aid. They recommend using the paddle attachement and its very very easy. I don’t have the attachements for pasta to the Kitchen Aid. They are not cheap but they make the process very very quick and simple and fun. It’s worth strechtching for it down the road. And the kitchen aid ravioli maker is to die for terrific.

    As far as bread baking at home I had a chance to discuss my process with the son of a baker. Also I read Alton Brown’s baking book on yeasts. Basically I think now that the dough can not proofed in one day no matter how much it rises or how many times you repeat that process.
    I am told the dough needs at least two days for the yeast to properly develop and outside the refrigerator. Also a pizziola recommended at least a day before for pizza dough to properly develop. The bread in one day thing always results in a more compact and dense and less airy bread. Delicious yes but not crispy and airy. I have been waiting nearly two years to make truly crispy and airy bread. Perhaps this is the answer I have been seeking.

    Even my best bread done in two rises ~half a day comes out light but denser than I want it to be. So Basically I think crisp crusty but airy bread can not be achieved with a couple of rises. And I have tried every oven trick in the book. you know the stone, the water bin….the place in the oven… you name it.

    Anyway as always Rhulman and all you have given me much inspiration to learn and improve.

    My knife skills were elevated by Pepin’s techniques…I am amazed how they are coming along… Outstanding you all…..keep it up.

  • ruhlman

    pardus, glad the bread routine works!

    “old-chicagos” is shorthand for me for vienna beef hot dogs, which are the best in the world (says me) and which I wrote about for Gourmet

  • luis

    well, after making eggrolls and wontons recently I vow the pasta is next. I simply can not improve on the eggroll with the store bought pasta squares. They came out fine but there is always a feeling the pasta is way too pedestrian. Geezz yes going down this path is extremelly labor intensive. The fresh filling, the eggrolls the pasta?
    I don’t know. I will try making some regular pasta though. It doesn’t have to be paper thin or anything like that. See how much work it is. I hate lengthy recipes.

  • Camusman

    non-pasta related . . .
    Ruhlman, can’t you get Tony to blog again about the greatest travesty on television, The Next Food Network Star? His blogs last year were some of his funniest stuff ever. I’m praying that he hasn’t been muzzled by a Tischman contract because TFN brought back A Chef’s Tour.

  • DM

    Made it. Yum! It was my first time making pasta. I had to throw the first batch away bc I couldn’t make it come together. But I jumped on Youtube and watched some technique videos (and found a slightly different recipe), and voila! I hand rolled it, which made it a tad thick, but that ricotta filling is killer. I’m enjoying the leftover filling on asparagus today for lunch.

  • neil

    Love the way, despite a busy life, you find the time to fit in your parents and share with them all the unique and wonderful foods you’ve discovered. I’d like to know too, what are Old Chicagos? I’m sure it’s not a cover band.

  • Daniel Boyle

    In addition to the comments above, when rolling out pasta dough by hand, consider using (clean, obviously) wooden dowels or yardsticks to get the correct thickness (obviously if you’re making very thin pasta it doesn’t work, but with a little effort you ought to be able to find something that will work.

  • Sean

    What are Old Chicago’s on the grill?
    as in “then back home on the 4th for Old Chicago’s on the grill at my Dad’s”
    Sean from Chicago

  • Jonathan Castner

    Learning to make fresh pasta changed my life. My wife practically won’t eat pasta outside of our home – she’s become so spoiled by it.

    The egg yolk and ricotta ravioli is something that I thought I saw on a Japanese Iron Chef episode and have been doing it for over 2 years now. It may be my favorite pasta ever. There are nearly endless variations on that theme and they all have that lovely “Oooo!” factor when you break open the first one with your fork as the yolk oozes out. Aw yeah!

    As for the kneading, there is a difference and if I’m making a pasta that needs structure, like for a lasagna, I’ll work it more so that the extra gluten helps it not fall apart so easily within the dish. But for a simple strand pasta or a filled pasta I’ll work it less so that it has a lighter feel.

  • Eric

    I have tried Marcella Hazan’s recipe of a cup of flour and two eggs to make a pasta dough and it came out way too wet. I searched for a lot recipes just to get a rough idea of the ratio of egg to flour. Besides hers, I have not seen any close to a ratio of one cup to two eggs. It is closer to one to one. Her recipe is also consistent in all her cook books.

  • mike pardus

    My girl friend was describing trying to teach her mother how to make pasta dough….her analogy went something like this: “It’s like having a cat…just when you think you know your cat and what it likes and doesn’t like, the damn cat shits on the living room carpet”….this woman’s made pasta all over Italy and on the east coast and west coast of the US…her mom lives in the high, arid climate of Montana…yesterday, watching a pasta melt-down, mom quipped “is this where the cat shits on the rug?”

    BTW – Ruhlman proposed that making your own bread – every day – was not only fun and easy, but so time efficient and economical that only a fool without a Kitchen-Aid and a scale would NOT do it. No excuses.

    Well, I’m not a Baker (and we’re not going THERE again), but I’m not a fool and I do have a KA and a scale…so, starting a very busy week, I decided to put the proposition to the test.

    I have to admit, if Michael hadn’t pushed me into it I’d have spent $20 already this week on artisinal ciabatta. Instead, I painted one side of the house, planned and packed for a 2 week road trip with my daughter, did all of the usual domestic chores…and baked a loaf a day – 3 today to take on the road…Ruhlman;s right…way too easy,fun, time and cost effective NOT to do it. It would take me longer to drive to the Market and buy the loaf than it does to make it at home while I’m unloading the dishwasher or folding laundry.

    Thanks mike….

  • S. Woody

    My error. There’s gluten in the wheat flour, even when it hasn’t been kneeded. The gluten intolerant would still have difficulties with unkneeded wheat flour pasta. As for those with wheat allergies (which turns out to be a totally different problem), leaving out the wheat flour is mandatory.

    Which leaves finding alternative flours that do not contain gluten as the best solution for these people. The question is whether these alternatives will also be satisfying, flavor-wise. I certainly hope so.

  • Graeme

    No knead pasta (or minimal kneading) is well suited for a filled pasta. The idea is to contain the filling in a minimal way ( as little pasta as possible as well). Of course old Ferran has taken this to the logical conclusion and made pasta free ravioli, but that’s not what we’re talking about.

    But for noodles, you want a fair amount of texture. Where I use durum semolina and bread flour for noodles and knead the hell out of it, I use AP flour and just enough kneading to bring the dough together for filled pasta. Has anyone tried using pastry flour (for even less gluten) in their pasta dough?

  • brad

    I’ve recently discovered that kneading pasta dough is unnecessary. Happy accident…just use semolina/durhum wheat flour.

  • S. Woody

    Interesting timing: my current reading material is Laura Schenone’s “The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken.” Not only is her writing fun and thought-provoking, the book is attracting a lot of attention when I have it propped up next to my register at the supermarket. Great title, and it breaks down the wall for some interesting conversations.

    Second, all this talk about the gluten in pasta has me thinking: we get customers who are gluten intolerant (don’t get me going on the ones who insist they are “alergic to” gluten, sheesh). Symon’s pie-crust pasta could prove to be a good thing for them – the idea deserves more examination.

  • luis

    I believe in making everything worth making at home. Dying to try to make pasta. But it will take days to go through my groceries before I get the chance. If the lettuce is still good I must make chicken cesar salad. if not I will make potstickers and fried wontons. Between the eggroll filling I still have and today’s stir fry brown rice with leeks, and other veggies with fresh shrimp… Well It will be a pleasure to work through all that and I will try and blog about my first home made pasta experience early next week. Still I haven’t made home made mayo darn it. That blog fell through the cracks..and home made charcuterie..oh well got the gadgets but is on a back burner as well. And the things you guys contribute to this blog are just precious. On another blog thing… I think this time I have the right percolator. It’s a coleman 9 cup blue camping percolator. Nothing to go wrong with it this time. Not even a sight glass on it. Which I found really weird. I am just getting used to it but the coffee it makes is outa tha galaxie.

  • MichaelG

    I wasn’t familiar with ” espelette ” and googled it. It sure looks like the serranos I have in my back yard. Maybe milder.

  • Natalie Sztern

    I have been racking my brain to figure out what kind of sauce i can use instead of brown butter as hubby will not eat it that way….help! I have already secured a friend to help me make the pasta.

  • BarbaraB

    james -

    It is The Art of Cooking by Maestro Martino of Como(search Amazon for the title) as I mentioned it was written in around 1425 and is not what is thought of as a modern cookbook. What I quoted is a simplified version of the recipe – and that is pretty much all of the recipe. Codifying preparation instructions into easy to follow formula didn’t start happening consistently until the 20th century.

    Nonetheless I find reading the Medieval and Renaissance culinary manuscripts to be fascinating and very inspirational. Their food combinations and preparation techniques are sometimes wildly different from anything you would imagine. And sometimes the results are absolutely stunning!

  • Vincent

    As far as tender versus al dente – there have been different recipes for different fresh pastas for ages. Different ratios of egg, oil, and water added – butter cream and milk added in the north, etc.

    One of the biggest differences is in the flour.

    Using 00 (double zero) flour changes the consistency of pastas considerably, both firm and soft.

  • Vincent

    To Bob Del G… I have to wholeheartedly disagree with your Jessica Simpson post. I think that there are several parts of her that would be quite toothsome. As I have heard, in Italy, she is not only known for her oscar worthy performances in Dukes of Hazzard and other shit, she is also known as “Jesse Al Dente” is certain parts if Sicily.

  • Vincent

    To Conor at the top of the comments…

    If you read the post Symon’s recipe was for the pasta, not the filling. I would hate to think that a smart chef would make pasta from quail eggs or yolks – rich I’m sure but you can enrich a pasta dough with fresh organic chicken, duck or guniea hen eggs all the same. The yolk is an addition .

    Here’s a link to someone who did it a long time ago, like more than 2 years even…

    http://www.sandomenico.it/pagine.php?cat1=1&cat2=1&cat3=3&cat4=&offset=1&quanti=2&limit=1&lan=en&home=w3c

  • james

    Regarding putting eggs in Pasta since the beginning…

    “Eggs in the Shape of Ravioli
    Make a dough like that for lasagne, which is not too thin or tender, and break some fresh eggs over the dough, and after topping with sugar and sweet spices with a little salt, wrap these eggs in the dough in the same way you would ravioli; and boil or fry, however you prefer. But they are better fried… make sure that the eggs are not overcooked, because the more an egg is cooked, the harder and worse it becomes…(translation by J. Parzen)”

    -…what cookbook? sounds very interesting

  • Caleb

    Dang…I guess that answers that question. Went to Lola last night…

  • james

    in terms of letting the pasta rest- i always did let it rest because the dough is much easier to roll out- i’m sure its because the flour has time to absorb the moisture and the gluten has a chance to rest..

    i still think that unkneaded pasta is unproper, lacking the proper “bounce/chew” Unkneaded pasta just tends to taste like mush…no give. For shaped pastas though like ravioli/agnolotti…i could maybe see that texture would be desirable though…maybe.

  • luis

    hm,hm..hm… dying to try my first homemade pasta. And so many other things… One day at a time I guess. Never thought I could just roll it with a pin and let it rip.
    I have an Imperia hand crank but have never really figured it out or where to install it.
    But the thought I could do a cup of flour with some eggyolk proportion and my fave herbs and a touch of Tabasco or a dash of chipotle…and that’s just the pasta. The protein and the sauce to go with… I love it. Ruhlman always keeps me thinking up things.

  • BarbaraB

    Regarding putting eggs in Pasta since the beginning…

    “Eggs in the Shape of Ravioli
    Make a dough like that for lasagne, which is not too thin or tender, and break some fresh eggs over the dough, and after topping with sugar and sweet spices with a little salt, wrap these eggs in the dough in the same way you would ravioli; and boil or fry, however you prefer. But they are better fried… make sure that the eggs are not overcooked, because the more an egg is cooked, the harder and worse it becomes…(translation by J. Parzen)”

    This from Maestro Martino writing in Italy around 1425. He tells you to use the whole egg, not just the yolk. I think that his recommendation to fry it sounds fascinating. As much as I like the idea of the smooth yolk coming out of the tender pasta – the idea of cracking open a crisp, perfectly fried ravioli to find a luscious yolk. Mmmmmm.

  • Lisa

    “a two day restoration of the body and soul”

    What a sweet way to describe a two day hangover!

  • OnigiriFB

    Oh yum… I would never had thought of that. I love fresh pasta and the thought of oozing yellow yolk sounds delicious. This ones on my list to try. Thanks.

  • Rebecca

    I suspect- and please chime in if you know better- that some of the rest/no rest difference may have to do with differences in the flour traditionally used (ie in Italy) versus commonly available American flour. I’ve tried it both ways, and I find that the dough can be rolled much thinner after resting, whether in or out of the fridge, whether by hand or with a machine. If I want thicker noodles, I don’t always bother to let it rest. If I’m flavoring the dough, it definitely improves said flavor to let it rest.

  • mary lynn

    I took a pasta class from Giuliano Bugialli years ago and he too said never refrigerate pasta. He also said always make on a wooden surface. He also said that once you finished kneading the pasta, you either cooked it that day (cover wth towels for up to 2 hours) or let it dry for 2 hours without towels and it would be dry enough to put in refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. He also said that once you finished kneading, you were ready to stretch either by hand or machine. No rest time. My father taught me to make pasta when I was 12 years old and he never refrigerated or had a rest time. Oh well, what do Italians know about making pasta?

  • Paul

    This dish was first seen in the United States at San Domenico. However, it was a truffled brown butter that was used as the sauce. Also, the pedastal that holds the yolk has spinach and marscapone in it as well. I should know, as a cooking school extern I was making them. Along with all of the other fresh pasta, An amazing experience!

  • Amy

    This makes me want to make pasta…..

    I just need to know how to make dough….and get utensils for dough.

    : P

    Yes always learning. Thanks Ruhlman! : )

  • e. nassar

    Definitely the pasta needs kneading. I like a toothsome texture. Besides kneading by hand, rolling it a few times at the widest setting on the pasta machine is a sure way of creating a good texture. I bet Chef Symon does that! So, he kneads too. I am now thinking of an egg yolk stuffed pasta with some pesto in there as well, yellow, green and white…

    BTW, Bob, no-knead bread once considered in terms of ROI is very good. It looks great, tastes great and has a good texture.
    I do agree with you about Ms. Simpson though. :-).

  • French Laundry at Home

    I never would’ve thought to make this, and now I can’t stop thinking about it… and how amazing it would taste. Perfect for Sunday lunch this weekend.

  • corybarrett

    i find that with an all yolk pasta dough i only “need to kneed” for about 3 to 4 min. But don’t for get the dough is also kneeded with the folding and rolling process, this is where you want the end result to be very satiny…

  • carri

    My daughter and I just spent a couple of days trying different methods of handmade pasta, hoping to refine our recipe. The most successfull was definitely not kneaded more than enough to pull it into a ball. we let it rest 30 minutes in the fridge and ran it throught the hand crank pasta machine maybe 8 times on the biggest setting , folding it onto itself each time. it becomes all silky and you can tell when it’s time to shape. we then put it through twice on each lower setting all the way down and then cut it on the die for fettucine. Served with a nettle pesto cream sauce and aspargus…it was pretty easy and soooo good!

  • Karin (Grew up in Cleveland and miss it in VA)

    Friends with Bourdain, Symon AND Paul Minnillo! I want to eat that well in my next life.

  • Darryl

    Homemade pasta is a fun family activity too. We make the dough with the KitchenAide stand mixer with the hook attachment, then a quick hand knead on a wooden cutting board. After a breif rest in plastic wrap in the fridge, I use the pasta roller attachment and presto fresh pasta. Whats the coolest thing about homemade pasta, is that you can add any flavor that you can think off (pepper, basil, cheese, etc.) I really like fresh homemade spinach pasta the best hmmm.

  • ruhlman

    Sara, i concur that rolling with a rolling pin works fine–flour it well and fold it over on itself and cut fettucine. good pix and method in jacques pepin’s la technique.

    conor, i didnt mean to imply symon claimed to be the first to put yolk in ravioli. it’s no doubt been done since pasta was first made.

    If you cook it just till pasta is done the yolk remains fluid. (raw yolks from healthy chickens are amazing food and culinary tool.)

    dawn, i’d never heard that pasta hates cold. if you’re cutting the pasta immediately, then it’s fine to cover with a towel and let it rest on the counter. I would think it would keep better if you’re not cutting it right away, but that’s interesting.

    Looks like i’m going to have to try minimally kneaded pasta, del grosso notwithstanding.

  • ihop

    Traditionally I’ve made pasta with a good amount of kneading. While it came out fair, there was always a little toughness to it that I disliked — too much bounce, perhaps.

    The last time I made pasta I was in a rush and kneaded it much less. It was by far the best pasta I’ve ever made — tender and delicious. I rolled it out for ravioli; for noodles it might’ve not had quite enough bite to it, but for ravioli, it was bliss.

    And Sara — you can roll out pasta with a rolling pin or an old (empty) wine bottle, which is what I did in the days before I got a pasta maker (a hand-me-down from my grandmother). There are those out there who claim that hand-rolling pasta isn’t that much more difficult than using a machine, but I suspect those people are professional weightlifters, because hand-rolling takes a LOT of upper body effort. If you can get a pasta machine, it’s definitely worth it, in my opinion.

  • Dawn

    Ok, this is a pretty minor question, but now it’s bugging me. Yours is the second blog post I’ve read in just the last month that says to place the wrapped dough in the refrigerator to rest. Yet I was taught by Giuliano Hazan that “pasta hates cold” (try googling that phrase to see what I mean). He emphasized this, saying it was important to use room temperature eggs, a wood surface instead of, say, marble, and never to put the dough in the refrigerator. So what’s the deal? Have I been led astray all these years? Or does it not really matter?

  • Matt

    I made perogis once and I believe the recipe discouraged too much kneading. The only other time I made pasta dough was in school under the power of a stand mixer. We tried adding pasted jalepeno to the dough…it didn’t give the effect we were looking for.

  • james

    yes..but what does that mean..pasta gets “tough” when you knead it. Tough as in how? i’ve never hadthis problem.

    I think its necessary to knead pasta dough to develop that chewy “bounce” which results from the developing gluten

  • luis

    Wonderfull stuff Michael.. just great stuff. All it takes is time. This is why half of my cooking programs are on hold. Baking, breading, seviching…you name it. The really really great thing about it is this blog has taught me so much. I have learned so much from everyone.. I can’t thank everyone enough.
    Come tomorrow if I have time after my honey do… I have green onions, ginger, celery and parsley to mix into my kick ass eggroll filling and then cast iron will cook them.
    The sauce… hmm honey mustard and something else….? not sure yet.
    But I digress, your pasta exploration with Michael Symon is to die for. As usual it will take me until the end of this blog to get the point you made about the pasta. Pasta, I have a machine for it but I have yet to explore making my own. This is for sure in my todo list.

  • luis

    Wonderfull stuff Michael.. just great stuff. All it takes is time. This is why half of my cooking programs are on hold. Baking, breading, seviching…you name it. The really really great thing about it is this blog has taught me so much. I have learned so much from everyone.. I can’t thank everyone enough.
    Come tomorrow if I have time after my honey do… I have green onions, ginger, celery and parsley to mix into my kick ass eggroll filling and then cast iron will cook them.
    The sauce… hmm honey mustard and something else….? not sure yet.
    But I digress, your pasta exploration with Michael Symon is to die for. As usual it will take me until the end of this blog to get the point you made about the pasta. Pasta, I have a machine for it but I have yet to explore making my own. This is for sure in my todo list.

  • beaniegrrl

    We knead pasta just long enough to get it to stick together. I think pasta gets tough if you work it too much.

  • Bob delGrosso

    No-knead pasta is like no-knead bread is like Jessica Simpson or any book by James Frey. It looks good enough, but when you bite there is no tooth.

    Disclaimer: I’ve never bitten Ms. Simpson, I was simply using her as a metaphor for something that looks great but does not appear to have any other positive attributes. I hope I’m wrong.

  • mary lynn

    A friend (CIA grad) who made pasta at Chez Panisse for several years taught me to make it in a food processor. It is very good pasta and very easy. I always figured if it was good enough for Chez Panisse and Alice Waters, it was good enough for me. No kneading necessary.

  • Darcie

    Chris, your post just reminded me – I have half a dozen eggs from a friend who lives down the road, whose chickens live a better life than many people. The stunning orange-yellow, rich yolks deserve this kind of treatment! I need to try this – perhaps tomorrow, as I have a rare day off (but of course a to-do list a mile long).

  • james

    mike simons method to me sounds slightly counterintuitive to how i like my pasta…

    i really enjoy well kneaded pasta because then hte noodle has a chewy “bounce” to it as the glutens are allowed to develop. I use a high gluten flour, like a bread flour, and i’ve also seen it suggested in Elizabeth Davids Italian food.

    In terms of kneading it minimally like a pie dough (to minimize gluten devlopment ) to create a tender texture….if fresh pasta doesnt have a “bounce” to it…esentially won’t it always taste like overcooked pasta? (because if you think about it…tender pasta= not al dente pasta)
    In terms of al dente fresh pasta will always lose, and without even a proper gluten network developed, won’t it essentially be mush?

    i kind of always thought of not kneading pasta for at least a good 10 to 15 minutes as laziness…

  • Conor

    Of course, this isn’t really “Symon’s idea”–Michael Carlson has been doing it for a few years at Schwa in Chicago with a quail yolk, and I’d imagine he wasn’t the first, either. But when it comes to imaginative or creative dishes or techniques like this, ones that aren’t second nature to all/most trained chefs, it seems important to me to get things like this right.

    For example, I was really quite irate when the contestant on Next Iron Chef (Gavin Kaysen?) didn’t credit Grant Achatz for his “pillow” of scented air. I expect more precision from you on matters like this, Mr. Ruhlman!

  • Chris

    What a fortuitous post for me… I have been reading various recipes for pasta from blogs, sites, and books, getting ready to do some pasta making of my own and this post is just more inspiration.
    I even procured 2 dozen farm fresh, cage, hormone, and chemical free, free range, organic happy chicken, eggs for just such an endeavor.

    Darcie, isn’t everything better with bacon?

    Cheers

  • gb500

    And just as I was contemplating how to ask my husband to build me a chicken coop!

  • lisa

    This looks delicious.
    I don’t knead pasta dough very long. Definitely not 10 minutes. I wouldn’t say I treat it like pie dough, but I just knead enough to bring it together. Next time, I’ll think ‘pie dough.’

  • Sara

    Ruhlman, how do you roll your pasta? I assume you have a pasta maker?

    Any tips for those of us who DO NOT have a pasta maker? I recently acquired a kitchen with enough counter space to allow me to make hand-made pasta, but lack of pasta machine has made me nervous (as have the cookbooks which do not give good hand-rolling guidance, though I must admit that I’ve not yet consulted The Elements of Cooking.. I’m still working through many delicious stocks).

    Your wisdom would be much appreciated.