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X Italian Pasta Dishes
Fresh Egg Pasta with Semolina
Pasta all'Uovo (Fresh home-made egg pasta dough with semolina and corn meal)
Originated from: Casacalenda, Molise, Italy
Occasion: Weddings, Baptisms and other very special events
Contributed by: Mary Melfi (Zia Rosina's recipe)

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For Dough

3 1/2 cups to 3 3/4 cups flour
4 tablespoons semolina
3 extra large eggs
about 1/8 cup water (If needed)

For dusting
about 1/2 cup fine corn meal (If needed, when using pasta machine to roll out the dough)


o Beat eggs.

o Add semolina to eggs, mix well.

o Slowly add the flour to the semolina and egg mixture, working into a hard dough.

o If the dough is too hard and can't be handled, sprinkle a touch of water.

o Knead the dough for about four to five minutes so that the flour is well incorporated and the dough is malleable, keeping in mind that the dough should be "hard" and not "soft."

o Shape the dough into a ball, and put it on a wooden board. Cover the dough with a cooking pan, making sure that no air can penetrate through the pan (N.B. Do not place the dough in a plastic bowl or cover the dough with plastic wrap as this will soften the dough).

o Let the dough rest at room temperature for an hour.

o Knead the dough again for four to five minutes.

o Place the dough under the container again, and let the dough rest for another hour at room temperature.

o Knead the dough again for another four to five minutes.

o Place the dough again under the container, and let it rest over-night.

o Remove the dough from the container, shape into a cylinder log and cut a piece of dough.

o Using a pasta maker, roll out the dough to the desired thickness. If the dough comes out sticky, dust the panels with fine corn meal.

o Place the dough panels or pasta sheets on a wooden board or a table that is covered with a clean linen tablecloth.

o Make lasagna noodles or other types of egg pastas, cutting the pasta sheets as required....

o One can either cook the pasta panels at this time in boiling water, or freeze them until needed.


Even though my aunt, Mrs. Rosina Melfi, and my mother, Mrs. Giovanna Melfi, both grew up in Casacalenda, Molise in the 1930s, they use completely different recipes for making fresh egg pasta. While my mother thinks of "egg pasta" as one made with flour and eggs, my aunt, insists that the "real" egg pasta is one that is not only made with eggs and flour, but one that is made with eggs and semolina (and/or durum wheat). That's how her own mother made her "pasta all' uovo." Of course, egg pasta made with semolina (and/or durum wheat) was generally only used to make lasagna and lasagna was generally only made for festive occasions like weddings, and possibly baptisms.... I asked my mother if her mother (my grandmother, Nonna Seppe) ever used durum wheat to make her egg pasta, and she said, no. But then again, her own mother, my Nonna Seppe, never ever made lasagna (Couldn't afford to!). However, my Nonna Seppe did make spaghetti with "pasta all' uovo" for Easter or Christmas -- but her idea of "pasta all' uovo" was 6 cups regular white flour, 1 or 2 eggs, and lots of water.... Obviously, even in a little town like Casacalenda, Molise, people adapted their recipes to what they had (or didn't have!).... Photo: Mary Melfi.

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