Click on the above photo and enlarge it to see this beautiful pasta closely.
On our way back from the berry farm, my mother and I stopped at one of our favorite places – Barnes & Noble Booksellers. If you’re not familiar with this place, it is essentially a big bookstore with a café serving Starbucks coffee.
Of course, I quickly sashayed (yeah, I don’t sashay) to the cookbook section and picked up a bunch of stuff. The cookbook I spent the most time on was Mario Batali’s Molto Italiano cookbook. I copied down many recipes to use for later, and my head continued to think about those recipes hours after I had left the bookstore.
The recipe I thought the most about was for these black-peppered egg noodles. It was mentioned nonchalantly as a variation of the regular egg noodles, but it appealed to me so much that I could not wait to pull out my pasta maker to make them.
Speaking of my pasta maker, I have a question for you: If you received a $100 Amazon card from your Chase Visa Rewards, what would you buy? Well, I used it for a Kitchen Aid Pasta Roller and Cutter Set that was on sell for 115.95 and paid only 15.95 out of pocket, and I don’t regret the decision. Although I don’t use the roller & cutter set much, I know I never would have been able to buy this coveted item (at least by me) on my own.
Anyway, these noodles were fantastic, flavorful, and oh so fragrant (oooh alliteration)! They looked so ugly at first that I thought I had wasted 5 eggs (I’m stingy with my eggs.). The dough was much rougher than regular pasta dough b/c of the black pepper. However, on a positive note, the black pepper prevented the dough from sticking together as much as the plain variety.
This ugly duckling became a beautiful swan!
If you have a similar pasta roller/cutter, I suggest working in small batches. I first divided the dough into four balls, but had to later divide those balls into two more smaller balls for a total of 8. This was way too much for one person, but I have dried out the noodles and plan to eat more as the week progresses.
Don’t be deterred by how the noodles look and feel at the beginning; you will be rewarded in the end. They become lovely noodles after you boil them for merely 2-3 minutes. Stay tuned for what else I did with these noodles. You didn’t think I just ate the noodles by themselves, did you?
Black-Peppered Egg Noodles
3 1/2 cups Tipo ’00 or AP Flour
5 large eggs, room temperature
2 Tbsp black pepper (I used the powdery, cheap variety)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika (optional; I added this because of what I prepared with it)
1-2 Tbsp olive oil, based on desired consistency
Place the flour in a large bowl or atop a flat, wooden surface and make a well in the middle for the other ingredients. Next, add in the eggs, black pepper, salt, and paprika (if using).
With your hands or a fork, mix the ingredients together until you form a ball of dough (I would suggest using a stand mixer for this because the dough was somewhat coarse and hard to put together in a ball. Don’t mix it too much, though). Add the olive oil as it mixes.
Keep on trucking. This ugly, questionable, brain-looking dough ball will form pretty noodles in the end; I promise!
Once you form the ball of dough, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature before using. Next, separate the dough ball into 8 smaller balls. Flatten the balls of dough and put them through the pasta maker according to the instructions for your machine (I went up to the penultimate or next-to-last notch on the roller). Flour each layer so that the dough layers won’t stick.
[From left to right: 1) dough balls that I had to divide into two again. 2) flattened dough ball that was still too big to fit into the pasta roller. 3) The layer of dough after going through the first notch on the roller. 4) the final product up to notch 7 with flour on top.]
Cut the flattened layers of dough into fettuccine noodles, or use the fettuccine cutter attachment. Make sure you sprinkle flour on the noodles so that they won’t stick to each other.
Freshly-cut, floured, uncooked noodles that turned out much prettier than I’d expected.
**If making the noodles immediately, prepared boiled water with a bit more olive oil and kosher salt. Add the noodles, and cook them for 2-3 minutes.
***If using the noodles later, lay them out on a flat surface and allow them to dry out for a few hours. Store the dried noodles in a closed container for 2-3 days in the refrigerator and up to 3 months in the freezer. More info here. You’re welcome :).