Pappardelle Alfredo

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Pappardelle is my favorite pasta. I love you, pappardelle. I have decided that my favorite pasta is fat (as in wide) and thin, but not too thin (#5 on the pasta machine). I like to taste the pasta. I like a bit of texture.

Make pasta dough

  1. In a large bowl, combine 2.5 cups of flour and 5 eggs. Start by beating the eggs in the center with a fork and gradually incorporating the flour.
  2. Once the mixture thickens, mix with your hands until a soft dough forms.
  3. Flour a work surface and dump out the flour. Knead the dough for 10-15 minutes, flouring as needed.
  4. Cover dough with plastic wrap and let sit for at least a half an hour. I have often let it sit for the entire day while I did other things/went to work. Also! I have let it sit overnight in the fridge if I did not use it all up the first night.

Roll out pasta

  1. Cut off a hunk of the dough and lightly flour.
  2. Roll through the lowest setting on the pasta machine 3 times, folding the pasta each time and flouring.
  3. Roll through #2 3 times, folding and flouring.
  4. Roll through #3 3 times, folding and flouring.
  5. Roll through #4 once, do not fold.
  6. Cut the dough in half.
  7. Roll each through #5, do not fold.
  8. I like the pasta a little bit thicker than paper-thin setting #6, so I stop here.
  9. Cut the dough in half again. You should now have 4 pieces.
  10. Take one of the pieces, and flour each side lightly.
  11. Fold the piece over on itself 2 or 3 times.
  12. Cut across the dough into 3/4 inch ribbons.
  13. Uncurl the ribbons and hang on your handy pasta drying rack.

I have cooked the pasta immediately, an hour later, and the next day. I like it best the first day, but within that time frame, I don't think it matters too much if you boil it right away or if you wait an hour or two. It's definitely still worth it to eat on the second day! And many days after that, really…

Prepare yourself
I like to have everything ready before I cook the pasta, as things happen very quickly once the pasta is in the water. I feel a strong sense of urgency once this happens. Nothing should stand between the cooked pasta and its immediate inhalation!!

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt heavily.
  2. For the sauce, in a large bowl (I have a nice stainless steel one that works well), mix powdered parmesan, a few cubes of butter, salt, and a good amount of freshly ground pepper. I'm not really sure about the proportions here, except to say, you can't go wrong. Err on the side of too much sauce, as you don't have to use it all.
  3. Prepare the plates.
  4. Assemble the family. They should be sitting down, anticipating the pasta. They should be ready to consume it immediately upon its saucing.
  5. The water has achieved a rolling boil! Dump in the pappardelle. If you are making a LOT of pappardelle (for more than 2-3 people), you might find it helpful to first put the pappardelle in a bowl/baking sheet so you can add it to the water all at once.
  6. Boil one minute. Just before you remove the pasta, add pasta water to the cheese and butter in the bowl and mix. Add more water if needed to form a light sauce.
  7. The moment has arrived! Drain the pasta in the manner most pleasing to you.
  8. Add the pasta to the sauce post haste and mix well! It should be luscious and well-sauced. It should not be sticky and under-sauced.
  9. Serve! Tongs work well. I like the pasta to be just coated in the sauce (I don't pour additional sauce over it).
  10. Be amazed.

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