Make Fresh Pasta the Real Italian Way | Learn with Eataly | Nicoletta Grippo | Skillshare

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Make Fresh Pasta the Real Italian Way | Learn with Eataly

teacher avatar Nicoletta Grippo, Chef at La Scuola di Eataly

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
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Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Pasta 101: Fresh vs. Dry


    • 3.



    • 4.

      Basic Ingredients


    • 5.

      Ingredients for Pasta Dough


    • 6.

      Egg Pasta Dough


    • 7.

      Flour/Water Dough


    • 8.

      Shaping Your Pasta


    • 9.

      Pesto from Scratch


    • 10.

      Cooking Cavatelli al Pesto


    • 11.

      Buon Appetito


    • 12.

      Hungry for More?


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About This Class

Making fresh pasta at home opens up a whole world of authentic — and surprisingly easy — Italian cooking.

This class is about the ins and outs of preparing pasta to perfection. Each lesson is thoughtfully taught by Nicoletta Grippo, chef at La Scuola di Eataly, the cooking school of Mario Batali's famed NYC Italian eatery. Where better to learn pasta?

Through easy-to-follow lessons, Nicoletta walks through the difference between fresh vs dry pasta, what ingredients to have on hand in your pantry to accompany a good pasta dish, and then, how to make pasta from scratch. 

You'll learn how to:

  • Make two kinds of fresh pasta dough: egg and flour/water  
  • Form two pasta shapes: cavatelli and orecchiette 
  • Properly cook and plate your pasta dish 

Chef Nicoletta even shares how to make the perfect pesto sauce to match your cavatelli. After taking this class, you’ll be full with knowledge and inspired to cook pasta at home for your family and friends!


Eataly is a bustling Italian marketplace in New York City, Chicago, and Boston with a mission to bring people together through quality food and drink. We cook what we sell, and we sell what we cook.

Meet Your Teacher

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Nicoletta Grippo

Chef at La Scuola di Eataly


Nicoletta Grippo is the head chef at La Scuola di Eataly in Flatiron, NYC. She has been cooking her whole life for family and friends, but originally started her career on a path to becoming an international corporate lawyer. She then started a gelato, coffee and pastry shop 13 years ago in Vancouver, BC, and that’s where her passion for cooking really took off.

Shortly thereafter, Nicoletta joined a culinary school in Italy and became a traveling culinary teacher — and eventually landed in Brooklyn with her own restaurant. Now a full-time Italian Cooking teacher at La Scuola inside Eataly, Nicoletta’s classes range from Pasta 101 to wine pairings to handmade gnocchi and beyond.

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1. Introduction: Welcome, everyone. My name is Nicolleta Grippo. I'm a chef here at La Scuola at Eataly. I started cooking right from the time when I was a kid. I was going to school to be an international corporate lawyer, when I opened up a gelateria in Vancouver about 14 years ago and I got in the kitchen by accident and never left. So, today, we are going to be making one of my absolute favorite things which is pasta. At La Scoula here at Eataly, our motto is that we cook what we sell and we sell what we cook. Basically, we are in a big giant supermarket here and anything that you eat here in any of our restaurants or eat here in our school, you can also buy. Today's class is geared towards absolutely everyone. Pasta can be an intimidating subject, especially if we're talking about fresh pasta. But today, I want to break it down and make it simple, and show you guys that absolutely anybody can make fresh pasta at home. I'm going to show you how to properly cook the pasta, how to plate the pasta, and we're also going to learn how to make fresh pasta. Part of what I want you guys to take from today is that you can take these techniques and you can apply them to a lot of different types of dishes. Cooking is fun. Cooking should be fun. Making pasta should be fun, and if it's not, you're doing it wrong. All right. So, let's get started. 2. Pasta 101: Fresh vs. Dry: All right, so now to cover what is pasta exactly. Pasta is probably one of the most widely eaten foods in the world. It's something that's iconic with regards to Italian cooking in general. Whenever you think Italian food, you will, of course, think of pasta. In general, there are two different types of pasta, fresh pasta and dry pasta. These two pastas are two different species altogether. Fresh pasta is not better than dry pasta and I think that that's a misconception that we often have, unfortunately. One of the reasons that a lot of pastas are actually dried is to be able to maintain an intricate shape. Like the ones that we have here, so we have this Vesuvio, Casarecce, and Rotelle. These pastas would not be able to hold their shape, would they be fresh, they would completely collapse. So, one of the fun parts about dry pasta is that you can make a lot of really great shapes. Bucatini, for example, is a spaghetti with a perfect pinhole down the center. Now, would that pasta be fresh, that pinhole would collapse, that pinhole is there very much on purpose, it's there so that the sauce can infiltrate every individual strand of pasta. The Italians are very methodical about their pasta shapes, what sauce goes with what shape, so these little details make a big difference when we're talking about pasta. Al dente refers to the bite, the chew that the pasta is still toothsome. This is something that you can only achieve really truly with a dried pasta and again, it's one of the things that I really appreciate about a dried pasta. So, it's cooking it to a point where it's still toothsome, that it still has a bite to it. Whole wheat pasta, I'm going to give you guys a little fun tip to never have to eat that again, because let's face it, whole wheat pasta is terrible. Nobody likes it, it tastes like cardboard. So, a little fun trick, if you do want to eat a little bit healthier and this is great because it encourages people to eat pasta al dente. So, a good quality pasta, al dente is a beautiful thing, but it also has health benefits. So, the more al dente that you eat your pasta, the better it is for you. What it does is, it tricks your body into treating it as a complex carbohydrate, therefore you get less of an insulin spike because it takes your body, of course, longer to digest it and therefore it is better for you. So, throw away your whole wheat pasta. We're also going to cover a few myths and a few techniques that will really help you cook a good plate of pasta. Unfortunately for some reason, there are a lot of old wives' tales that we are going to crush today, such as putting olive oil in your pasta water. We're going to learn a little bit about how to properly salt your pasta water, how to properly finish a plate of pasta, whether the water should be boiling, little things like that that are going to make a big difference in your pasta at home. Dry pasta should typically be just flour and water. So, you're looking at durum, wheat, most often with water, sometimes a touch of olive oil in the dough itself. When it comes to fresh pasta, there are two basic different types. There are, of course, many variations, but the two basic types of fresh pasta are going to be flour and water and then we also have egg and flour. Those are not interchangeable. A lot of the times people think that, if you make an egg dough, you can then make Orecchiette and Cavatelli and that's not the case. Egg dough is geared towards certain shapes. Egg dough makes Tagliatelle, Pappardelle, Ravioli, Agnolotti, things like that, and then durum flour and water pasta makes Orecchiette, Cavatelli and things of that nature. So, they are different. Keep that in mind when you are about to make a dough. Certain shapes of pasta go with certain sauces. Now, those shapes sometimes are meant to be fresh and sometimes are meant to be dry. For example, Tagliatelle go very well with a big bold Ragu. You could also switch it out for a dry pasta, but you would want something big and bold as well, a shape that could really stand up to the Ragu. Probably my favorite example of pasta, what type of pasta goes with what sauce is when we talk about Angel hair pasta. Angel hair pasta is a very light and delicate pasta. It should be with a very light and delicate sauce, so if you put it and like it with Bolognese, for example, that is a terrible thing and that's because you lose the pasta. It should be with a light sauce because it is a delicate pasta, and vice versa. A Bolognese would be overpowering and really couldn't be appreciated without the proper pasta to accompany it, like Pappardelle, like Tagliatelle. So, these are the little nuances that are important. Another thing to think of when considering what shape goes with what sauce, having little nooks and crannies for the sauce to hide and if it's a sauce that deserves that, having ridges to help pick up a particular sauce, mimicking the size of the little bites in the pasta should be the same size bites. So, if you have, let's say, calamari in your pasta, you should also have the same size bite of pasta. 3. Tools: We're going to go over some of the tools that you'll need to make pasta in general and to make pasta today. So, first off, you're going to need a big pot to boil pasta in. Depending on what shape of pasta you are going to make, you will judge accordingly with the size of your pot. If you are cooking a long pasta, you want to make sure that the pot is big enough to accommodate that. You'll also need a skillet. It can be non-stick. It could be irregular skillet. Whatever you have on hand is great. You will need a ladle. This is going to be to transfer sauces, to transfer water from your pasta water pot. You're going to need some tongs if you're serving a long pasta. If you're serving a short pasta, you will need a spider. So, this is a great tool to have. You may not have it. If you have something similar, that's fine. But this is one that I highly recommend that you do buy because this is a kitchen essential. Also, a wooden spoon or a spatula, whatever you have on hand is fine. You will need a good knife. One of the best gifts that you will ever give to yourself as a chef, even as a home cook in general, is a good set of knives or at least a good knife, a good chef's knife. So make sure that you have a good sharp knife. A great cheese grater is always good to have on hand, too. We always like to grate our cheese as fresh as possible. So, a micro plane or some sort of a cheese grater. You need plenty of spoons for tasting. You're going to taste your pasta water to ensure that it's salty enough. You're going to taste your sauces. You're going to taste it in the in-between stages, so that's very, very important that you have some spoons available. One of the tools that you might not have already available to you in your kitchen that is actually a great buy, they're not that expensive, this is called the cavatelli or a gnocchi board, and this allows you to impart extra texture onto your cavatelli. That's one of the pastas that we'll be making today. It also allows you to do the same if you're making gnocchi. If you don't have this, don't worry. It can be done just on the surface of a wooden board. You could also alternatively just use the back of a fork to mimic the same function. Having a wood cutting board, too, if you are making fresh pasta, is very useful. If you don't have it, we can always make do without it using a clean kitchen towel, things like that, so don't worry about that. A couple of bowls and you're good to go. If you guys don't have all the stuff, I don't want to scare you away from making pasta at home. If you just have a good pot, a good pan, something to stir your pasta with, something to strain your pasta with, you can make it work. So, don't worry if you don't have everything. As you get better at making pasta, maybe you'll want to invest in a few more tools but the basics are, again, just a good pot, a good pan, and something to stir and strain your pasta. 4. Basic Ingredients: One of the great things about making pasta is you can make a sauce out of absolutely anything. You don't always have to go to the grocery store. You can make it with pantry staples. That's actually one of my favorite classes to teach is how to make pasta with ingredients that you already have on hand. Simple things like butter, olive oil, good quality cheese, maybe anchovies or something as simple as red pepper flakes, and then of course, there's always the fun part of going to the farmers market or going to the grocery store. Whatever catches your eye that day, that's what you're going to make a pasta out of. Come spring time, chefs, we get very excited about little things like ramps and fresh herbs that start popping up in the market. In the winter time; root vegetables, roasted vegetables, mushrooms, big bold ragus, things like that, slow simmering sauces. Come summertime, as soon as the tomatoes are out and fresh, these are things that we get very excited about and we'll make our sauces from those. Also, having good quality canned tomatoes is an important kitchen essential when you're making pasta. Whenever you do use canned tomatoes, you want to make sure that they are a good quality and that they are whole canned tomatoes. Never buy chopped canned tomatoes or crushed canned tomatoes. Always whole canned tomatoes, very, very important. Kosher salt. You'll want a really nice olive oil for finishing. You'll want a decent olive oil for cooking with. Never cook with something that you wouldn't eat so this applies to your olive oils. It also applies to your cooking wines should you be using them. Make sure that whatever you cook with is of at least decent quality because you want to make sure that what you're putting in there is something that you would enjoy on its own. When it comes to making fresh pasta, you're going to want to make sure that you have very fresh eggs, should you be making an egg dough, also very fresh flour. Now, this sounds like a crazy thing. Fresh flour, what is that? That means that you need to check the dates on the bag of the flour. No bodega or corner store flower. You want to buy flour from somewhere that has a very high turnover and look for maybe smaller brands. Local milled flour, things like that. When it comes to fresh eggs, something that I get very excited and passionate about. It's a silly little thing but fresh eggs are very important. In Italian, the egg yolk is referred to as il rosso dell'uovo, the red of the egg, and that is because the egg yolk should be very brightly colored. If it is as pale white as the shell, it is not a good egg. You also want to look that the egg white tightly hugs the yolk when you crack it. That is a sign of a fresh egg. Unfortunately, in the United States, in North America in general, often you'll find eggs that sit on a supermarket shelf for up to six months which is gross. When you travel the world, you'll see that eggs are often just at room temperature because they're used so often and they're so fresh that there's no need for refrigeration. Look for good quality eggs. Buy from a place that you know has very, very fresh eggs or buy them from a farmers' market. That's another great place that you could find them. Another fun fact, too, duck eggs, if you ever come across them, they actually make the best pasta and that's because the egg yolk ratio to the egg white is a lot higher, so the pasta's much richer. So, a little fun fact, if you see dark eggs, make pasta. 5. Ingredients for Pasta Dough: All right, I want you guys to keep in mind that pasta is literally made with two ingredients. It's going to be either flour and eggs, or flour and water. So I don't want you to get intimidated by this. But I'm going to show you a few of the flours that we would use to make pasta. So, we have our regular all purpose flour which I'm sure all of you have in your pantry already. All purpose flour is great for making flour and egg pasta. It has the perfect protein balance, so it's really good for that. So you can make pasta with all purpose flour. The next one would be "00" flour which you can find in a lot of supermarkets nowadays. This is often used for making pizza dough. What the difference is, in "00" flour, it will make your pasta more tender. Now, that's not always a quality that you're looking for in a pasta. So you want to keep that in mind. Another flour that you can use is spelt flour. So, spelt flour would be to mimic a whole wheat taste without mimicking a whole wheat texture. Another one that we use is semolina flour. So, semolina flour is often used in conjunction with either "00" or all purpose and what it does is it gives a pasta extra bite. So, if you want your pasta to have more bite to it, this is something that you will add. Finally, durum flour. So, your dry pasta is made with durum flour. Also, the flour and water pasta that we will be making is made with durum flour. This is something again that's popping up in a lot of supermarkets. You can find it here at Eataly and you can also find it online. All right, so to give you a general idea of what you'll need quantity-wise to make a batch of fresh pasta dough, figure, it's about 100 grams of flour to one egg. If you're using duck eggs, they're a little bit bigger so you're going to need about 10-15 grams more of flour because they are about 10-15 percent bigger than a regular egg. When it comes to cavatelli, for your durum flour, you'll need about 500 grams of durum flour which is just a little bit over a pound to 200 grams of water. Now, don't worry, I will explain to you what you can do if you don't know how to measure things out in grams or maybe you don't have a kitchen scale, I'll give you an alternative as well. All right, so when you are in a supermarket looking for whether it be durum flour or all purpose flour, you actually don't need that much to feed a family of six. A flour bag about this big will make enough pasta and some leftovers for about six people. All right, so one of the things to look for when buying pasta. Now, don't be afraid. You can use whatever pasta you have available in your pantry already, don't throw it out or anything crazy like that. But one of the things that you're looking for when buying a good quality pasta is going to be the texture of it. So, you can see right through the bag, right through the box at the supermarket, and you're looking for this rough cloudy texture that you see on this pasta here. It kind of looks dusty, it looks rough, and that's a symbol of quality. This pasta here, you'll see it has no dustiness, no texture, it's not rough at all, it's a very smooth shiny surface. The rough surface is a symbol of quality and that is because it means that when the pasta was made it was is pressed through a bronze extruder. So that's a cutter when they make the pasta. What does that mean? That means that, as they make the pasta, it actually imparts texture onto every piece of pasta like a snowflake. This is very important when it comes to picking up sauce. What happened was to mass produce pasta, because there's such a demand for it worldwide, is they began making stainless steel extruders. The stainless steel cutter or extruder imparts no texture onto the pasta. It creates a slick surface, which is a lot more difficult for sauce to adhere to. Also, why this pasta here is better is because of the way it's dried. So good quality pasta is dried perfectly evenly to the center. What does that mean? It means that when you cook it, it will also cook perfectly evenly to the center. So, you're not going to get uneven cooking, some pasta that's still raw, some pasta that's cooked. Also, you're not going to get pasta fracturing which is an absolute terrible shame when you cook pasta. You spend the money on a beautiful shape like this or on a long pasta like spaghetti or bucatini, and you have it fracture in the water which means it'll break in the water, so you end up with all these pasta shards. So very, very important that you spend the money whenever possible on good quality pasta. Look for these signs. This is what you're looking for when buying a good pasta. So, one of the most beautiful parts of a dry pasta, why to use a dry pasta as opposed to fresh pasta, is of course going to be the beautiful al dente quality that goes along with it. So, as you cook this pasta, you get that beautiful bite and that's what you're looking to achieve when you cook dried pasta. All right, now that you know all the tools and ingredients that you need to make pasta, we're going to make two of my favorite dishes, pasta al pomodoro and cavatelli al pesto. 6. Egg Pasta Dough: All right. Finally, the moment that we've all been waiting for, fresh pasta. So, most of you, you've cooked dry pasta at home but a lot of you haven't attempted fresh pasta, and I want to show you that it is not as daunting of a task as it may seem. Making fresh pasta is actually very, very easy. Today, we're going to make two types of fresh pasta dough. We will be actually making and cooking a cavatelli dough, which is flour and water dough. But I'm also going to show you, as a little bonus, about egg dough as well because when talking about fresh pasta dough, there are two basic types. Of course, there are variations on each, but one is an egg and flour dough and the other is a flour and water dough. So, typically, egg and flour dough, so an egg-based dough, is Northern Italian pasta. Egg dough makes tagliatelle, pappardelle, ravioli, agnolotti, taglierini, many, many different types of pasta that we all know and love. Then durum, so flour and water dough, comes typically from Southern Italy. You'll see this in puglia and basilicata. This is a pasta dough that is a peasant dish really at its best because the southern Italians who were typically poorer than the northerners learned to make something out of nothing. They took this flour, this durum wheat flour, that is a winter grain of wheat. It's one of the hardest grains of wheat. The flour that they milled from is not good for making bread, not good for making pizza, but man, is it good for making pasta. So, they took this seemingly useless grain of wheat and they learned to make something beautiful out of it, which is the southern Italian cavatelli, orecchiette, things of that nature. So, we're going to touch on that as well. Fresh pasta, some of the differences, the cooking time is going to be a lot less often for fresh pasta. It's not going to have that same al dente bite but that's not to say that it doesn't have a bite. So, learning the nuances of that, learning how to cook it. If we're talking about a fresh filled pasta, knowing that you salt the water slightly less for that. So, little things that make a big difference when you're cooking pasta. This is really, really fun because is making fresh pasta is relaxing. I love doing this. Whenever we have a class, it's pasta for 40 plus people and we make it all by hand here by choice because it is that much fun and it is relaxing. So, if it's not relaxing, you're doing it wrong. Our ingredients for our fresh pasta, for the first one that we are going to make right now, we have beautiful farm fresh eggs and then we have some all purpose flour as well. You'll notice that I have a scale here. So, the reason I have a scale, and I'm going to talk about this very briefly, when you are cooking, baking, certain times, you're going to be asked to measure things in grams. Now, this is the most accurate way to do it. I understand that a lot of you likely don't have scales kicking around in your kitchen, but you can find them at a lot of kitchen supply places. You can find them at a lot of different stores. They're not that expensive and they're a great investment especially if you like to bake and especially if you like to make pasta. This will make your experience a lot smoother because it allows you to be more exact. As much as pasta making is incorporated into the whole idea, that cooking in general as opposed to baking is, there are very few rules. It's more free. In order to really dial in your pasta making skills, it is nice to have a scale. Again, the general idea is that one egg to 100 grams of flour. If you're using a duck egg, it's slightly bigger, so you need 10-15 percent more flour. So, it's 110 or 115 grams of flour in addition to what you're already doing. So, a tool that I didn't mention before that is nice to have when making pasta, this is called a bench scraper. This is a tool that's great for a lot of things in the kitchen, so it's nice to have. It comes metal with a wood handle as well. You don't need this. You could just use a fork and you could of course just use your hands, so don't worry if you don't have it. So, we are first going to make an egg pasta dough and then I'll get into the ingredients for our next pasta, cavatelli. All right. So, I like to make this on a sheet pan. That could be because we are in New York City and if you live in New York City, this is about the size of your countertop, so it helps. But it also helps alleviate a lot of the mess and the cleanup that goes along with this, and again, the goal is to make this as easy as possible for you because I do want you to make this at home. All right. So, we're going to start off by taking our all purpose flour and just dumping it into a mound on our sheet tray. Using your fingers or a fork, you'll go ahead and make a well in the center big enough to hold four eggs. So, on a flat surface, you'll crack your eggs. It's always best to crack your eggs on a flat surface because then, you avoid pushing shell into the egg. So, again, it's very important that use very good fresh eggs for this and very good fresh flour because this is literally only two ingredients. All right. So, this is how much salt is in pasta. For this batch here, we'll probably make enough pasta for 10 people. That's why we have to heavily salt our pasta water. So, with a fork, we will dump these eggs into the center. Take your fork. Just give the egg yolks a little pop and then you will gently push outward and that helps to incorporate the flour. Don't worry if your eggs breached the well. It's more of it looks a cool thing than anything else. As you go, you slowly bring the flour into the center. Now, the hardest part about making pasta dough is actually just the kneading. After that, there is a name for everything, including mistakes. Maltagliati, for example, are just odds and ends of pasta. So, there's that and there's also stracci, which are just pasta rags. So, you really can't make a mistake once it comes to the shapes. But again, the hardest part is actually kneading the dough. So, I'm going to start knocking my flour a little more into the center. Now, pasta dough in the beginning looks like a big shaggy mess and that is all right. It doesn't look like much but trust me, it will come together in the end. So, the reason I like to use a fork initially is this helps to keep my hands a little bit cleaner, stops the dough from sticking to my hands, and therefore, there is of course less waste. Us Italians, we don't like to waste anything. This is the point here where I do like to use a bench scraper. Again, you could use your hands, you could keep using the fork, but this is a little more efficient. So, I'll use my bench scraper again, not wasting anything, and what I like to do is use it to help cut the flour into the eggs and this will make the job of kneading the dough a lot easier. Kneading the dough does take a little bit of patience. Depending on how hard you knead and also how big the batch is, it could take 5-7 minutes to knead your dough. But this is a very important part. It is a therapeutic part of making the pasta and the reason that is important is because this stage helps to develop the glutens, which I'll get into in a second. So, at this point, you could see it's a big shaggy mess. I am ready to use my hands. So, I will begin bringing the dough together a little more using my hands. So, once it has mostly come together, and if you get any excess dough stuck to your hands, just go over to the side, rub your hands together with a little extra flour if needed, and they will come clean. So, I'm going to take this dough now and I'm going to go ahead and start working with it on the board. If you want to pick up all these scraps and be a true Italian and not waste anything, feel free to do so. But otherwise, at this stage, we've gathered up most of it and we can start kneading on the board. Using the heel of my hand here, I'm going to begin working the dough because this is going to give me the amount of strength that I need to do so. So, I'm going to press in. I'm going to flip the dough, press and again, quarter turn, press in. When you get into a little bit of a rhythm and it becomes very easy. You can also use both hands, helps speed it up a little bit. So, I'm developing the glutens at this point, which is the structural component, the strength of the pasta. So, this is very, very important. The dough, again, doesn't look like much. Doesn't feel like much just yet but with a little patience, it does come together. You'll notice the dough will start to become smoother and you'll also notice something that's very important, the dough will become tighter. The reason that the dough is becoming tight, again, is that developing of the glutens. But this is a sign that you're going in the right direction and that is almost ready. How you will know when you're dough's ready, and this goes for both egg dough and flour and water dough, is that when you press your finger into the dough, so the finger test, when you press your finger into the dough, your fingerprint should bounce back. That is how you know your dough has been kneaded enough, because it has become very tight. So, let's give this a look here. So, bring your dough into a nice tight ball. Press your finger into it and you'll see it is bouncing back. It could use probably about another minute or so of kneading but it is ready at this point. So, I need to take this dough and wrap it very tightly in plastic because if I were to work with unrested dough, it would tear and it would retract back to its original size. So, it's very important that you allow this dough to rest tightly wrapped in plastic so that it does not dry out for a period of around 30 minutes or so. But how you will know it is ready is when you press your finger into the dough, your finger print will then remain and it'll stay there all day long because the dough is nice and relaxed, it's rested. So, again, just to reiterate, this pasta dough, an egg-based pasta dough, makes tagliatelle, pappardelle, agnolotti, pansotti, triangoli, a lot of different pasta shapes. It's a really, really good pasta to know how to make. Very important, again, to tell you that fresh pasta should always be made or bought fresh. What does that mean? That means that yes, they do sell dried tagliatelle, dried orecchiette, dried pappardelle, but no, you should not buy them dry. You should always make or buy them fresh. A fresh pasta is fresh for a reason. So, very, very important that you remember that. So, this is 100 grams of flour to an egg and 100 grams plus one egg will make enough pasta for, figure, about two people, but it's always nice to have leftovers so I would go a little bit more than that. 7. Flour/Water Dough: All right. So, for our next pasta, we'll be making a flour and water dough. Again, we're going to start off with a sheet pan. You could do this in a bowl, you could do this on your counter, but this helps to alleviate some of the mess. We've got, again, our good olive oil. We've got some fresh basil. We have some kosher salt. We've got our durum flour. So, durum flour again is the flour that we need in order to make a flour and water pasta dough. This same flour is what makes dried pasta. We've got some parmigiano reggiano cheese freshly grated, some good old tap water, and that's all we need to make cavatelli. We're going to start off. This is a little bit of a smaller batch than what you guys have in your recipe. This makes enough pasta for probably about four people. So we're going to dump out our durum flour into the center of our tray here. Same thing, we'll make a little well in the center. A little pinch of salt. A little drizzle of olive oil. Okay, we've got our water already ready to go. Water at room temperature is fine for this. Slowly drizzle the water into the center of your well, and using a fork, you'll again help to incorporate it. Okay, same thing. You want to just help to move this along, help the fork to incorporate our water in there. Again, I'm going to use a bench scraper. They are very, very useful. I'm going to cut the water and flour together and that helps the flour to saturate, and that's really what we're looking for here, is to saturate the flour. So it's going to look like a big, dry, shaggy mess, this one especially. But it does come together into a beautiful dough. Then, I go ahead and start bringing it together with my hands. To give you an idea to what 100 grams of flour is, there are about 125 grams of flour to a cup, so that you'll have a little bit of a better idea of what I mean by a 100 grams of flour. So I'm going to do the same process here, pick up as much of this flour as I can, and then I'm going to go ahead and transfer it onto my cutting board. Again, using the heel of my hand, I'm going to begin to bring this together. So you really want to dig in there, fold it over a quarter turn each time, and even if it looks a little bit dry, don't be afraid. It will come together after you start kneading it very intensely. If your dough isn't coming together, if it is too dry, you can add a little more water. Now, certain things will affect your pasta making. Just like with any dough, the humidity in the air that day will affect it, how dry room is will affect it, sometimes even your ingredients, maybe your flour might be a little on the wetter side. So, it's important to be aware of all these little nuances. As you learn your doughs and as you make it more frequently, you will find that you get a hand for it. Dough is all about feel. So, be mindful of those little things. Fortunately, most of us have nice temperature controlled air conditioned kitchens so we don't have to worry about that, but don't be afraid to add a little bit extra water if you feel the need to. You don't want to add too much because you don't want your dough to be too sticky but feel free to add a little bit. So, you are again looking for your dough to become a little bit smoother and to become tighter. The finger test, again, is going to be used for this dough. You will know that it is ready to rest when you press your finger into the dough and your fingerprint bounces back. Okay, that is what we're looking for to know that we've kneaded the dough enough. So we're going to go ahead and check for that at this point. Again, bunch it up into a nice ball, take your finger, press it into the dough, and you want to see that fingerprint bounce back. It needs probably about another minute or so of kneading but it is almost ready at this point. So, you would take this dough and you will wrap this dough very tightly in plastic. Again, this is to prevent it from drying out. Once the dough dries out, there's nothing that you can do with it. It becomes useless. So after all that work and all those beautiful ingredients, you want to make sure that you protect it. So, do wrap it tightly with plastic wrap. So fortunately, we do have some dough already rested tightly in our plastic wrap. So I want to show you what your dough looks like after it has rested and how to know whether it's rested enough. Again, typically, the resting time is about a half an hour. You can make this dough in advance if you wanted to, you could make it in advance and it is fine at room temperature resting until you're going to use it whenever that is, whether it's an hour, two hours, three hours later, or it can be held in the refrigerator for up to four days before you actually make any pasta out of it. Just remember that you need to bring it to room temperature before you work with it. So this dough has been resting for about an hour. To show you the difference between a unrested and rested piece of dough, when I press my finger into this unrested piece of dough, you'll see that that fingerprint is very hard to retain and it bounces back very quickly, whereas if I press my finger into this dough, it's very soft and easy and it will hold that fingerprint all day. So finger test to check if your dough has been kneaded enough, you want to press it in and see your fingerprint bounce back, that the dough is very tight, and a rested piece of dough, you should be able to press your finger into the dough very easily and that fingerprint should remain. 8. Shaping Your Pasta: All right. So, to actually make cavatelli, now, we have our rested dough. You're going to need your sharp knife. So, you are going to cut off a section of the dough. It's very important that you take the remainder of the dough and you again wrap it tightly in plastic, because you don't want it to dry out as you're working. So, we'll wrap that up, set it aside. So, at this point, I'm going to take my hands and I'm going to go ahead and roll this out. This is like Play-Doh for adults with a great end result because it sure tastes a lot better at the end. So, we're going to roll it out from the center and work our way outward. This is about the thickness that you're looking for. So, I'd say that's about a quarter of an inch or so thick. Okay, you'll take your rope and you will cut it. At this point, it's very important that you have your bench flour handy in case you need it when you're shaping the pasta if it gets a little bit sticky. So, you're going to take your knife, and you will cut little piece, they're almost like gnocchi, out of your rope. Okay, you'll take some of the flour, sprinkle it over, move them to the side, make sure that they're not sticking. Okay, leave our other one aside for now. So, this makes a lot of different shapes, but we're going to show two today. One is cavatelli, one is orecchiette. They're the two most commonly seen. Cavatelli, for example, you'll see very, very frequently on a lot of menus at a lot of restaurants. Orecchiette comes from Puglia, they're little ears. So, they're both made with the same beginnings. Make sure you've got a little bit of flour here, and they're both part of a family of pastas that translates to pastas that one would drag across the surface. So, cavatelli made just on a cutting board. So, no fancy tools needed here, just your hands. So, you're going to take your thumb. You're going to use this side of your thumb. Okay, you've got the cut side up. You will press down and roll forward and follow through until it flips over. Okay, and you end up with your cavatelli. So, cut side up. Using the side of your thumb, you're going to press down and roll forward till you follow through. You end up with these cavatelli, very rustic, easy pasta to make. You'd see, eventually, you don't even have to look. You can make a lot of these very easily for a lot of people. So, that is a cavatelli without any fancy tools. Now, if you want it, again using a cavatelli board or gnocchi board, you could dress these up a little bit. So, using a little bit of bench flour on them, you'll do the same thing. You'll take the cut side on the board, and roll it off the board. You'll see, you get all these beautiful little ridges on it. So, aesthetically, they're very pretty. But they also have a use, and these ridges help to pick up sauce better than a flat surface. So, the board is a great investment. Often, as funny as it is, gift this to people with a bag of germ flour and teach them how to make cavatelli. This is really a great starter pasta. This will give you the confidence that you need in order to try other types of pasta. A glass of wine, some good company, and you can make cavatelli very easily for a lot of people. So right here already, you have really a restaurant-sized portions. So, you could go a little bit heavier if you wanted to for a home portion. But this cooked including sauce is about a portion. So, I'm going to now show you orecchiette, same thing. So, we've got our little gnocchi here that we're making. I'm not running my knife through this, I'm actually just chopping straight down. It just works a lot better when you're dealing with dough, because I'm not pulling it in any direction. So, it's causing it to not stick to my knife. If it does, just sprinkle a little bit of flour onto it. That's what it's there for to break these up to make it a little bit easier on you. All right. So, orecchiette, little ears from Puglia. Same thing. Cut side up. This time, I'm going to use this part of my thumb, okay? I'm going to, again, press down, roll forward. I'm then going to take my pointer finger, I'm going to pinch, and I'm going to pull it over my finger, and flick it off. I end up with these little ears. Again, cut side up, front on my thumb, roll forward, pinch, pull it over my finger, and flick it off. You end up with beautiful little cups for the sauce. Why I switched fingers is because it allows for these trademark little tears to occur on the dough. So, if you've ever seen a dried version of cavatelli, even that's a no, no to buy, you'll see that they have these trademark little tears on them, and again, those are there to help pick up sauce. That happens with the transfer from one finger to the other. The dough naturally just tears a little bit. These, again, it's a pasta that you can make so easily. It's two ingredients, flour and water. It's something that you can do completely by hand. Other than a knife and some surface to cut on, you really don't really need much else to do this. So, it's something that you're not going to find yourself having to run to the grocery store to get all fancy things. It makes it very easy. These can be frozen. So, once you make them if you wanted to make extra, maybe on a Sunday, you could freeze these and later have them in the week. What you will would do is put them scattered on a sheet tray. Make sure that they are not touching and freeze them like that, then pop them into a Ziploc, and they will stay good in the freezer for about a month or so, in case you wanted to make extra. So, now that we have made our durum dough into two different types of pasta, and you know that this makes both of these types of pasta, plus many more, I'm going to tell you a little bit about why, what shape would go with what sauce. So, today, we're going to make cavatelli with pesto. This pasta is perfect for pesto because it has all these nice ridges. Even the flat version has a little hole for the pesto to hide inside. These are all little things that you're looking for when you're looking to pair a sauce with the pasta. Important little details. So, this is ideal for a pesto. This also works really well with just a simple tomato sauce, a beautiful roasted tomato sauce. So, you want a little bit of a thinner sauce with this, or if it's something a little bit thicker, you want to match up the bites with the same bite size as the cavatelli themselves so that it can all be done in one even bite. With the orecchiette, something that you'll see very, very traditionally done with this Puglia would be these with rapini, also known as broccoli rob, and sometimes, even with broccoli rob and sausage. Garlic and oil, a little bit of pecorino romano, or parmigiano reggiano with this. The reason for that is these little orecchiette are like little cups, and they hold those little bites of sausage, and those little bites of broccoli rob perfectly. So, these are the little things that you're looking for. Also, they tend to harbor a little bit of that beautiful olive oil as well. So, all of these little things are things to take into consideration when determining what sauce to serve with what pasta. 9. Pesto from Scratch: We're going to make a pesto. I'm going to show you a few tips and tricks to make a really, really good pesto today. So, first, we're going to start off with some beautiful fresh basil. You just want to remove the leaves here. So, you'll pick the leaves, whatever quantity of leaves or whatever quantity of pesto that you would like to make, and from here, we're going to go ahead and blanche our basil. So, this is going to keep it bright and vibrant green for days to come. It will not change color. Simple thing like this. So, we're going to go ahead over here to a pot of boiling water. You could boil it straight into your pasta water if you wanted even. So, a little bit of salt. We're going to quickly drop these leaves into our boiling water. Again, using a spider, using any tool that you have to kind of get these leaves out would be fine as well, and you only need about 20, 30 seconds. You want to make sure, too, that you have some ice water ready and available and that's going to help to stop the cooking process. We're just barely cooking it to set the color and then we're shocking it in ice water to stop the cooking so that the basil doesn't lose color. So, all we're looking for is for it to cool, so we want to take our basil and squeeze most of the liquid out but not all of it. It's okay if you get an ice cube or two in there. It's actually beneficial. If you don't get an ice cube or two in there you'll want to throw one in. It's very important that you add these ice cubes, one or two ice cubes, because this blender will have a tendency to kind of heat up and we want to avoid actually cooking our basil. When you go to then complete your pasta dish, we're gently warming out pesto. We're not actually cooking it. So that's a very, very important part, not to actually ever cook your pesto. So, a little pinch of salt. If you wanted to add garlic at this point, you could. You could also keep it separate. So, we'll add in some olive oil now and add more as needed to thin this out. For, let's say, a nice healthy bunch of basil picked, you'll need about a quarter cup of olive oil or so. But again, pesto is very loose. You can do whatever you'd like. Add as much olive oil or as little olive oil as you like as long as you get the right consistency. You want it nice and smooth. So, we're going to turn our blender on, I'm drizzling some more. So, in terms of consistency, how thick or thin you want it, if you want the basil still kind of rough, again I really like pestos that are a little more rustic, a little rougher on the edges, let's say, so I like my nuts, if you're adding them, to be rough chopped. Sometimes, the basil as well to have a little more texture. If you want it thinner, you puree it a little bit longer. That's fine, too. So, we have our beautiful basil pesto here. We're going to pour it out into a dish and show that to you. So, right here, we have our nice bright green pesto. This will again stay green even a few days later in the refrigerator. So you have no worries about it changing color. So this is again just basil that has been blanched, a little bit of ice water, some olive oil, and a pinch of salt. 10. Cooking Cavatelli al Pesto: All right. Now, that our cavatelli are made, our pesto is made, we're ready to begin cooking the dish. So, once again, we have to salt our water. So, we'll take our kosher salt and salt our pasta water as salty as the sea. No olive oil in the pasta water. Something to look forward to, before you add your salt, you want to make sure that your pasta water is at a nice steady boil. It doesn't need to be a crazy rolling boil, but a nice steady boil and this helps to make sure that the salt dissolves evenly into the water. Often, what'll happen is it'll settle on the bottom. So we want to make sure that it's distributed evenly throughout the water. So be sure to be patient, get your water boiling far ahead of time, add more water if needed if it evaporates. But you want to make sure that it is at a nice boil. As I had mentioned before, pesto should not be cooked. We just want to gently warm it. So we're going to take our pesto and we are going to add it to our pan here. And we've got it on a very, very, very low heat, barely anything. Just give it a little swirl. Okay, and we're going to go ahead and cook our cavatelli. We have everything here ready to complete this dish. Again, very important that you have everything ready and available. This helps make cooking more streamline, a lot easier. It also makes for a better cleanup. So, we're going to take our cavatelli which have been air drying and hanging out. So, this fresh pasta, some of them benefit from air drying slightly. So you can leave these out on the cutting board, don't worry about letting them dry out a little bit. It enables me to pick them up by the handful like this as opposed to gingerly placing them in the pot. So, it actually helps you out a little bit. Bring it into our boiling water. Okay, again, our spider. We're going to gently stir our pasta. Make sure none of it is really weighed down to the bottom. If there is a lot of pasta, it'll tend to stick to the bottom. So just a little stir once in a while, stay with it. Fresh pasta, for the most part, cooks a lot quicker than dried pasta. There is still, again, not really al dente, but a point where the pasta still has a little bit of a bite and a chew, and that is the point at which you want to pull the pasta. Again, we can taste it for that. So, when you cook cavatelli, just like gnocchi, because they are the pasta form of gnocchi, you want to see them come up to the top and hang out there for a little bit. Often, we want to look for them to do a passe. So they come up to the top twice and they're rolling around and then they hang out there for a little bit. At this point, too, now that the pasta is in the pot, we are going to take some of this starchy pasta water. And we are going to add it to our pesto for two reasons. One, it's going to help warm it a little bit more, and two, again, it helps to emulsify our sauce. The process of a sauce emulsifying is it brings it together. So, often, the fats will separate from the water component, so this helps to bring it together and keep it unified as one sauce. This really, really helps texturally. This is particularly apparent if you're making a butter sauce, the fats will tend to separate and you don't want that. The same thing goes for this. We have our oil in this, our olive oil, our fat, and it'll tend to want to pull away from the liquid component, the basal component. So, our pasta is actually almost ready here. We can see it's come up to the top, and we blanched our basil in our pasta water, directly in our pasta water. One, because it's great. It saves on another pot, and two, because it actually is beneficial. When you blanch your broccoli rob or your basil in the same pasta water that you are going to cook your pasta in, it actually flavors your pasta a little bit more. So it adds a little extra boost of basil in the cooking process. All right, so we're almost ready for the final and most important step when cooking pasta which is transferring your pasta directly from your pasta water into its respective sauce. This is where, when we were cooking a short pasta, the spider comes into play and is a really useful tool. This spider is going to allow me to easily scoop this straight from our pasta water and add it to my sauce. So I'm going to go ahead and transfer it. But before I do that, I'm going to pull one and taste it to make sure that we are there for the cooking. Perfect. So it still has a little bit of a bite to it and that's what we want. We don't want it to be completely mushy and soft. It still hasn't absorbed its full capacity of water, so it still has a little bite to it. So, it's ready to go into its sauce. All right, so our cavatelli are in here. We're going to allow them to absorb some of that sauce. Very, very low heat if any heat at all. It's a little bit more liquid than I would like to see. But sauce to pasta ratio, this is okay because these cavatelli are still absorbing some of that liquid. Plus, we are going to be adding some cheese. What I would often do is take some of this pasta water after I added the cheese which I'm most likely not going to have to do in this case. I can go just straight into adding my cheese and not have to worry about that at all. So, sauce to pasta ratio, you want to make sure that there's enough sauce that it's coating, but not too much sauce that the pasta is drowning in it. This is particularly important when we're talking about raguse. All right, so, off the heat. We are going to add in our parmigiano reggiano as little or as much as you'd please, and you'll see that the sauce tightens up very quickly at this point. So if the sauce becomes too tight, you'll want to make sure to add in some of that pasta water to give it some more fluidity. We're going to go ahead and taste again. All right, we are all set to serve this. So at this point is when, if you were adding nuts, pine nuts, walnuts, pistachios, whatever it is, you would add them now. Fold them in to keep them nice and crunchy, keep the texture, lightly toast them. You can see here that the pasta is releasing its starches. This pasta is becoming a little more creamy and that's something that you are looking for. To serve it, just take a little ladle here. Spoon it right into the center, little piece of basil if you wanted, and just like that, you have a beautiful plate of cavatelli with pesto. 11. Buon Appetito: All right. So, now that we're at the best part where you guys get to actually eat and enjoy your pasta, I'm going to leave you with a few last words of advice. First, when it comes to selecting your pasta, you want to make sure that you match it up to the correct sauce. Again, back to the angel hair pasta, things like that, making sure that you pair a delicate pasta with a delicate sauce, a big bold pasta with a big bold sauce, pastas with little nooks and crannies with sauces that can hide in those nooks and crannies. Another trick and tip is to make sure, whenever you're serving pasta to a really large group of people, it's ideal to serve a short pasta. A short pasta is better because, first, if you've ever twirled up 20 or 30 orders of tagliatelle or bucatini, you'll see what I mean. But aside from that, short pasta is more conducive to service to a larger group of people because it stays hot longer and it's easier to serve. So, just keep that in mind if you're planning a dinner party or planning to feed more than four, five, six people. Another tip is something that you'll probably like. I want you to throw your manners out the window when it comes to waiting for people to get their meal at a table before you eat. It is actually considered an insult to an Italian chef if you wait for everyone else at the table they get their meal before you eat. Particularly, pasta is meant to be eaten right away at its hottest, at its freshest. Pasta will deteriorate very quickly as it cools and as you leave it. So, you want to eat it at its best, at it's hottest, so don't wait for anybody else at the table. Start eating as soon as you get it. Often, I like to finish my pasta with a really nice olive oil. So, an olive oil that you cook with and a finishing oil are going to be slightly different. You're going to cook again with a good quality olive oil but ideally, you'll have a few finishing oils in your pantry. A finishing oil is going to be an oil that's of better quality. The three basic flavor profiles are grassy, fruit forward, and peppery, and of course, they're going to pair up with certain dishes. For example, the pesto would do very, very well with an olive oil from Liguria, which would typically be very grassy. The rule of thumb, "What grows together goes together,' often applies, so keep that in mind when selecting your finishing oil. Feel free to garnish with some freshly grated cheese, or whatever it is, some beautiful fresh herbs at the end just to kind of give that dish a final pop at the end. Pasta, for us Italians, can be something that we would have as a primo in a three-course meal or a four-course meal or a five-course meal, whatever it is that we're happy to be enjoying that night, but pasta can be enjoyed as a main course as well. Sometimes, it's our star of our meal. Sometimes, it's something that we will eat for lunch and that is the only thing that we will eat. So, anytime is a good time to enjoy a beautiful plate of pasta and now that you guys have all the techniques and skills that we learned today along with the recipes, I encourage you to take these and try them at home. No better time than now to cook up a beautiful plate of pasta whether it be fresh or dry. Be creative. Use things from your fridge. Use things from your pantry. Use things from the market. Now that you guys are going to make your own pasta, please take photos. Share them in the gallery. Send them to me so that I can see all these beautiful plates of pasta that you guys are going to make and enjoy. But remember not to wait too long before you eat it. So, buon appetito and thank you. 12. Hungry for More? :