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Tomato Pasta Dough

1 1/2 c unbleached flour
1 egg
1/2 t salt
1 t olive oil
1/2 c tomato paste or minced sun-dried tomatoes
2 T finely chopped fresh basil (optional)

To make dough by hand: Mound the flour on a work surface and make
a depression in center; add egg, oil, tomato paste, basil (if
desired), and salt to depression. Slowly incorporate the egg mixture
into flour with a fork or your fingertips until it's evenly and
thoroughly absorbed. Add water 1 tsp. at a time, as necessary, to
form a workable dough. Knead 5-10 minutes, or until dough is smooth
and elastic. If dough is sticky, add a small amount of flour. If
dough is dry, add water while kneading, a few drops at a time.
Wrap dough in plastic wrap and let rest for 1 hour, or for several

To make dough in a food processor: Add flour, eggs, oil, tomato
paste, basil (if desired), and salt to processor and pulse several
times while adding small amounts of water until incorporated (dough
will be crumbly, not elastic.) Knead as directed in preceding
method., Food processor pasta dough doesn't require a resting
period, but it doesn't hurt either. Refrigerated dough should be
returned to room temperature before rolling.

Rolling and cutting the dough: Using a hand-cranked pasta machine,
or a floured board and a rolling pin, roll out dough to desired
thinness. Filled pastas such as ravioli and cannelloni, should not
be rolled too thin and can be shaped right away. For cut pasta such
as fettucine or linguine, drape the rolled pasta sheets over the
back of a chair or cardboard-covered clothes hanger for about 10
minutes. This brief drying time will prevent the pasta from sticking
together when cut.

Cut pasta can be cooked immediately, or dried, or dusted with flour
and frozen in bags for late use. Pasta sheets can be stored lightly
dusted with flour and wrapped in plastic.

Note: Omit the egg and increase the olive oil to 1 tbl. for an
eggless version.


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