Eggless Pasta Dough

MAKES: 4 servings

TIME: At least 1 hour, somewhat unattended

Just as simple and easy to work with as the egg pasta; here the hot water replaces the eggs. The pasta will be less rich but still wonderful. Use olive oil instead of butter and it’s vegan pasta.

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons butter or extra virgin olive oil

With a food processor: Combine the flour and salt in the container and pulse once or twice. Turn the machine on and add 1/2 cup hot water and the butter or olive oil through the feed tube. Process just until a ball begins to form, about 30 seconds. Add a few drops of water if the dough is dry and grainy; add a tablespoon of flour if the dough sticks to the side of the bowl.

By hand: Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle. Into this well, add the butter or olive oil and about 1/2 cup hot water. Beat the water with a fork, slowly and gradually incorporating a little of the flour at a time. When it becomes too hard to stir with the fork, use your hands. When all the flour has been mixed in, knead the dough, pushing it against the board and folding it repeatedly until it is not at all sticky and quite stiff. Add water 1/2 teaspoon at a time if the mixture is dry and not coming together; add flour if it is sticky.

Sprinkle the dough with a little of the reserved flour and cover with plastic or a cloth; let it rest for about 30 minutes. (You can store the dough in the refrigerator, wrapped in plastic, until you’re ready to roll it out, for up to 24 hours.)

Follow Steps 2 through 6 in the Fresh Egg Pasta recipe for rolling, cutting, and cooking instructions.

Variation

Pinci. Hand-rolled spaghetti from Tuscany, usually made with semolina flour: Add several grinds of black pepper to the flour and add an egg to the flour well with the butter or olive oil. Add a couple tablespoons water, adding more 1/2 teaspoon at a time if the dough doesn’t come together. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead it until it is not at all sticky but still soft and pliable. Roll the dough to 1/4-inch thickness, cut it into 2-inch-wide strips, dust the work surface with cornmeal, and roll the strips into logs. Cut the logs into 3-inch lengths and hand-roll each piece, stretching as you roll, to 1/8-inch-thick noodles. Keep them separate with cornmeal. Cook the pinci as you would the fresh pasta (Step 6).