Flour and water—can it get any more basic? After a few minutes of kneading, the dough magically comes together into a smooth, supple ball. Fettuccine is the goal here, but Chun also likes to cut the pasta into free-form “rags” to serve with a wild-mushroom sauce.
- 2 1/2 cups semolina (sometimes called semolina flour) plus additional for dusting
- 1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup lukewarm water
- All-purpose flour for dusting
EQUIPMENT:a pasta machine
Stir together semolina and water in a large bowl until a slightly crumbly dough forms, then knead on a work surface (not floured) until smooth and elastic, 7 to 9 minutes (dough will start out dry; do not add water). Dust bottom of bowl with semolina, place dough on top, and let rest, covered with plastic wrap, 30 minutes.
ROLL OUT DOUGH:
Divide dough into 8 pieces, then flatten each piece into a rough rectangle and cover with plastic wrap. Set rollers of pasta machine on widest setting. Lightly dust rollers with all-purpose flour and feed 1 piece of dough through rollers. (Keep remaining dough covered.) Fold rectangle into thirds and feed it, open end first, through rollers 4 or 5 times, folding in thirds each time and feeding open end through. Lightly dust rollers and your hands with flour if necessary to prevent sticking.
Turn dial to next (narrower) setting and feed dough through rollers twice at same setting without folding. Turn dial to next (narrower) setting and repeat. Dough should now be about 1/16 inch thick (about 14 inches long and 3 1/2 inches wide). Lay on a semolina-dusted baking sheet. Dust pasta with semolina. Roll out remaining dough in same manner (do not stack pasta sheets).
Attach fettuccine blades (to cut 1/4-inch-wide strips) to pasta machine. Feed one end of driest pasta sheet (the first one you rolled out) into cutters, holding other end straight up, then catch strips from underneath machine before sheet goes completely through rollers and gently lay across a semolina-dusted baking sheet. Cut remaining pasta sheets in same manner. Let cut pasta dry slightly, at least 5 minutes, before cooking.
COOKS’ NOTES: Fettuccine can be made 1 day ahead and dried (keeping pasta strands as straight as possible) until leathery but still pliable, then dusted with semolina and kept in a sealable bag (folded over slightly if necessary) at room temperature.