How to Make Perfect Pasta

Tips for perfect pasta from chef Darrel Truett of Barolo Grill.

Gather your tools
“A KitchenAid with some simple attachments works great. There’s a sheet cutter pasta attachment that works wonders. Use the mixer to make the dough and the sheet cutter to roll it out into noodles. You’ll also need a large stock pot and, if you want, a pasta basket—a special kind of strainer that makes cooking easier.”

Use two simple ingredients
“I use equal parts egg yolk and double-zero (00) flour, which is very refined and smooth. That’s it.”

Make the dough
“Mix your yolk and flour until they come together. The mixture should clean the sides of the bowl by itself, with nothing sticking. If anything sticks, add a little more flour.”

Roll it out and cut the noodles
“Roll the dough into a ball and let it rest for half an hour. Then roll it out with your KitchenAid. You can use any shape of pasta for any sauce. There’s no pasta-sauce combination that’s wrong.”

Cook the pasta
“Fill your stock pot with at least two gallons of water. Drop the pasta in only when the water is rapidly boiling. If it’s not boiling and you throw a fresh noodle in there, it’s just going to clump together and get sticky. It only takes 25 or 30 seconds for fresh pasta to cook; don’t overdo it. Personally, I don’t salt my water at all. I would rather salt my noodles after they’re cooked, if they need it.”

Let the noodles finish in the sauce
“Cook your noodles until they’re mostly done, and then take them out and add them to your fresh sauce. If the sauce is hot, the noodles will finish cooking in the sauce and absorb more flavor.”

Balance the sauce
“This is where you get your sauce’s seasoning and consistency just right. Throw in a little Parmigiano- Reggiano, taste it, and then add whatever herbs and spices are still needed. If it’s a red sauce, maybe some parsley and chives. If it’s a mushroom sauce, try sage and rosemary. You can also add some olive oil or a couple cubes of butter, if the flavor needs it. If the sauce is too thick, add a ladle of your starchy pasta water to get it to the right consistency.”

Plate and serve immediately
“I like to go right to the bowl. At this point, you can add more Parmigiano-Reggiano and a nice, expensive finishing oil. This will give the whole dish a luxurious, velvety mouthfeel.”

Darrel Truett is the culinary director at Barolo Grill, where he has led the kitchen for over a decade.

Barolo Grill
3030 E 6th Ave.