Total time: 1 ½ hours plus (45 plus active minutes)
Yields 2 ½ pounds of pasta
1 pound Semolina flour
12 ounces all-purpose flour
Up to 2 cups water
4 large egg yolks
A good splash (1+ tablespoons) olive oil
Weigh both flours and combine in a large bowl. Your hand works well for this, and will for the entirety of this recipe, but a whisk or spoon works too.
Make a well in the center of the flour.
Combine water, egg yolks and olive oil in a separate bowl, whisking to emulsify.
Slowly pour egg mixture into flour, stirring with spoon or fork to gradually incorporate flour.
Once most of the flour has been incorporated, transfer dough to a flat surface and begin kneading.
Depending on many factors—the all-purpose flour, time of year or size of egg yolks can all make a difference—the dough can seem dry, unchangeable and just plain wrong. Keep working the dough, and if it still won’t come together, begin adding water a tablespoon at a time, and continue kneading. Be careful not to end up with a soupy batter.
Once it has come together, continue kneading until the dough is shiny and smooth and a little springy when touched.
Tightly wrap the dough in plastic film to prevent it from forming a skin and leave it to rest. This can be done overnight in the refrigerator or for half an hour at room temperature. If refrigerated, be sure to give 10 to 15 minutes before use to allow dough to come back to workable temperature.
When the dough is workable, begin lightly stretching by hand.
This step depends on whether or not you have a pasta roller. If you do have a pasta roller, begin on the widest setting and slowly roll your pasta out to desired thinness. If not, here comes the hard part. Using a rolling pin (any will do, but a pasta rolling pin is suited best), work the pasta as thin as possible, trying not to add flour unless absolutely necessary, and avoiding any tears.
Semolina pasta can be shaped as desired, although I really like the look of farfalle, or bowties. For a bowtie shape, roll pasta dough out to thinnest available (about 1 mm), and slice into rectangles (2 inches by 1 inch). For the shorter ends, a pasta cutter can add a nice fluted touch. Then, fold the pasta in half lengthwise, repeating that fold in the opposite direction. Press in the center of the piece of pasta to seal.
The pasta can be cooked and eaten immediately, for which they only require 2 to 3 minutes cooking for al dente, or dried out and eaten later, when they will take 10 to 15 minutes.