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Siddharth Siva / arabianEye
Siddharth Siva / arabianEye

The master apprentice

Feature Angela Hartnett is more than Gordon Ramsay's right-hand woman - she's an award-winning chef in her own right. On her recent return to Dubai, she spoke of what it's like to work for the foul-mouthed celebrity.

Angela Hartnett had little commercial experience in the kitchen and no formal training when she came across a newspaper clipping describing the hottest new chef on the block. Armed with little more than a burning desire to cook, the history graduate wasted no time in sitting down and writing him a letter, begging for a trial. It was a somewhat ignominious debut. She rolled up 20 minutes late, burnt the crème brûlées, showered the kitchen in sweet pastry and managed to switch off the freezer so that all the lunchtime sorbets melted.

But that was 1994, the chef was Gordon Ramsay, and Hartnett, now 41, has come a long way since then. For if the saying "behind every great man, there's a great woman" is true, there can be few better examples than that of one of the world's most successful chefs and his right-hand woman. Fifteen years on, not only is she one of Ramsay's most loyal and stalwart cohorts - she is frequently described as his protégée - but she is arguably the leading female chef in Britain today, wowing diners and winning accolades with her Italian fare.

With Hartnett at the helm, both the Connaught and Murano, the latest Ramsay enterprise, earned a Michelin star within a year of opening. So entrenched is she in the stable of Gordon Ramsay Holdings that when he took a gamble as the first celebrity chef to set up a base in Dubai with the opening of Verre in 2001 - his first international restaurant - he sent her to oversee the venture. There have since been many more restaurants added to the Ramsay empire, with one common denominator: the ever-present, ever-dependable Hartnett.

Last month, back in Dubai after a lengthy hiatus, to mark Verre's eighth anniversary, her pragmatism was called upon once again. Shortly before she flew in, the carpets were soaked by an automatic sprinkler system when a small fire broke out on an outdoor terrace of the Hilton Dubai Creek. The whole restaurant had to be relocated to the neighbouring Glasshouse brasserie. With typical stoicism, she takes it all in her stride, rolls up her sleeves and knuckles down in the kitchen to prepare fare for a two-night extravaganza dubbed Verre meets Murano.

"It is good to be back," she says in her slight Essex twang, gazing out on the sprawl of development and ever-shifting landscape. "I was here for one year in 2001 and nothing was really developed as it is now. I'm curious to go out later. There are quite a few cooks who worked with me in London who are here now." The explosion in fine dining has been "brilliant" for the region, she believes. "I think it's fantastic. The more, the merrier. There is more choice for people. The range of cuisine puts Dubai on a par with the big cities like Tokyo, New York and London."

Hartnett's own speciality is the staple Italian fare she learnt to cook at home as a child. She was born in Kent, England, but after her father, Patrick, an Irish Merchant Navy sailor, died when she was eight years old, her Welsh mother Guiliana moved to Essex to be closer to both sets of grandparents. Of particular influence was Nonna, her Italian maternal grandmother, who migrated with her husband from Bardi in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy to Wales in the 1930s.

While Guiliana worked long hours as a nanny, the young Hartnett spent hours in the kitchen under Nonna's watchful eye, learning the art of making pasta. This rich family heritage was reflected in Hartnett's first book, Cucina: Three Generations Of Italian Family Cooking. "When Nonna made tortelli, I would help her - and then I became very good at it," she says. "She trained me well, although she would never let me put the filling in because I always made them too big. But I had the strength she did not have to knead the pasta and do all the rolling.

"Even up to the last couple of years before she died [in 1995], I would come home from college and do it with her. She had a place for everything. My mum would never put anything back in its right place and it would drive my gran nuts. "She would say, 'Get your mother out of this kitchen, you know where everything goes!' I just picked it up from her. To this day, I can live in a messy apartment but I like everything in the kitchen to be organised."

At college, she found she was more preoccupied with planning meals for her flatmates than her studies: "I still loved cooking Italian dishes and always felt I wanted to cook. Italian cooking is all about seasonality, simplicity and using the best ingredients. Their nature is not to be adventurous but it has worked for centuries and they are not going to change it. I am just cooking what I know most about."

After a couple of years of working in pub and restaurant kitchens, she came across the newspaper article that sealed her fate. Ramsay, who initially invited her in for a day's shift, was then head chef at Aubergine, under Marco Pierre White, in London's trendy Chelsea district and her co-chefs were Marcus Wareing and Mark Askew (both now established chefs in their own right). The odds were stacked against her: she was a woman in a male-dominated and often chauvinistic world; she had started out late (most chefs begin at 16 rather than going to university); she had never been to catering college; and nine in 10 employees used the revolving doors, never to return.

Wareing started a sweepstake, predicting she would not last longer than a fortnight. Hartnett admits Ramsay could be "psychotic" and "horrendous" as she worked 17-hour days, six days a week. But she stuck it out and her association with him is still going strong. Under him, she worked at Zafferano and L'Oranger, joined Wareing as his sous-chef at Petrus, launched Amaryllis in Scotland and then flew out to Dubai.

In 2003, she took over as chef-patron at the Connaught, back in London, and within a year, her Italian-influenced menu had earned her a Michelin star and a clutch of awards, including Best Newcomer and Best New Restaurant from the Square Meals Guide. Six years on, she has earned an MBE for her services to the hospitality industry, and in July, became the first woman to be named chef of the year in the Cateys, the UK's prestigious Caterer and Hotelkeeper awards. She now splits her time as chef-patron between Murano and the York & Albany, both in London, the latter an experiment, merging a boutique hotel with fine dining and a delicatessen.

The first question on most people's tongues when they meet her is what is it really like to work alongside the famously foul-mouthed chef, whose expletive-laden outbursts have become synonymous with his TV series, The F-Word. Hartnett herself has been called everything from a "b****" to "Dizzy Lizzy". "Gordon has a reputation that is worse than his bite," she says, her deep-set hazel-grey eyes twinkling. "If we didn't get along, I wouldn't have stayed with him as long as I have."

Of his two epithets, which is most apt? "I can be a total cow when I want - and I can be as flaky as you like," she says. "It is probably somewhere in between. "A lot of my key management team have been with me for years. It is about training people, showing you care and looking after their future. It comes down to the simple things like asking: 'Have you had a nice day and how's your mum?' and getting underneath their skin, understanding that people genuinely want to work for you."

All of which sounds a world away from the Ramsay working environment described as "Vietnam" by chefs who fled elsewhere. "It is long hours, antisocial and people can be a bit abrupt," she admits. "It is not hard because I'm a woman, it is just hard because it is a hard business. Sometimes you feel you are in the men's changing room but as I got better and my position has got higher, there is less of that in front of me.

"Having said that, 25 chefs before me got a Catey, but none of them got the headlines I did. Being a woman is the biggest advantage I have over anyone in this business." What has probably helped Hartnett survive is her incredibly down-to-earth, self-deprecating nature. These days Ramsay describes her as "warm and natural with everybody she meets... she has no airs and graces". And he is right. She throws her head back to laugh often - a delicious, throaty cackle which bubbles up from her - sends herself up constantly and has a mischievous sparkle in her eye.

But she is no soft touch, and woe betide anyone who lets her down on a professional front. "I am not bossy but stupid things annoy me. The other week at the York & Albany I was helping out with breakfast and the staff were not carrying trays, for heaven's sake. People are not going to come back if they have an awful breakfast service. I always believe you can make mistakes as long as you show humility and you are willing to apologise.

"I am fairly hands on. I don't go in there at seven to peel carrots but I am there for services. If you are too hands-on, you do not let the people under you develop, so you have to find a balance, otherwise they will leave." Her words of wisdom have been called upon more than once in the past year, an annus horribilis for Ramsay. Last November the married father-of-four had to confront claims of a seven-year affair with Sarah Symonds. Six months later, it emerged he was getting ready-made meals delivered to some of his restaurants in London, then charging customers five times the cost, prompting tabloid headlines of "coq au van".

As the credit crunch hit and his profits plummeted from £3 million (Dh18.4 million) to £400,000 (Dh2.5 million), he sold his Ferrari and injected £5 million (Dh31 million) of his own money to keep the business afloat and avoid filing for bankruptcy. "We have tightened everything up and everyone is acutely aware of scaling back a bit, which is no bad thing," Hartnett says. "Where we were losing money, like Paris and Versailles, we have just pulled out.

"To be fair to Gordon, he did smile over the coq au van headline. I think he had just got to the point where he was either going to laugh or cry. I think it was all a bit harsh. We buy in bread and chocolates in Murano and they are still great quality - it is not like I am buying Cadburys and sticking them on a tray. "Gordon is a fighter, though." As for what the future holds for her, she does not dismiss the option of branching out on her own: "Never say never, but for the moment, I am really happy."

Hartnett would like children but has not met anyone to settle down with yet. "Women are having kids later and later. If I got to 45 and nothing had happened, I would think: 'That's it'. But I still think if I want them in the next few years, I could. There is nothing to say you cannot be a female chef and have it all. There are a lot of outstanding chefs with families and children. It's different in Europe because they run their restaurants as family businesses. For now, I have a crazy Jack Russell called Alfie and he just has to look at kids to start growling."

In the meantime, things have come full circle. She emulates Ramsay's favour to her by inviting amateur chefs to spend time in the kitchen when they write to her seeking a start in the industry. "It is the only way you're going to see it. Come and stand there from 7.30am until midnight and then tell me you want to be a chef. People have misguided ideas about what it takes and think they are going to make lots of money. They forget Gordon worked for 20 years solid before he got to this level. I get them peeling onions and after 24 hours, you don't see them again."

Work alongside the famously foul-mouthed chef, whose expletive-laden outbursts have become synonymous with his TV series, The F-Word. Hartnett herself has been called everything from a "b****" to "Dizzy Lizzy". "Gordon has a reputation that is worse than his bite," she says, her deep-set hazel-grey eyes twinkling. "If we didn't get along, I wouldn't have stayed with him as long as I have."

Of his two epithets, which is most apt? "I can be a total cow when I want - and I can be as flaky as you like," she says. "It is probably somewhere in between. "A lot of my key management team have been with me for years. It is about training people, showing you care and looking after their future. It comes down to the simple things like asking: 'Have you had a nice day and how's your mum?' and getting underneath their skin, understanding that people genuinely want to work for you."

All of which sounds a world away from the Ramsay working environment described as "Vietnam" by chefs who fled elsewhere. "It is long hours, anti-social and people can be a bit abrupt," she admits. "It is not hard because I'm a woman, it is just hard because it is a hard business. Sometimes you feel you are in the men's changing room but as I got better and my position has gotten higher, there is less of that in front of me.

"Having said that, 25 chefs before me got a Catey, but none of them got the headlines I did. Being a woman is the biggest advantage I have over anyone in this business." What has probably helped Hartnett survive is her incredibly down-to-earth, self-deprecating nature. These days Ramsay describes her as "warm and natural with everybody she meets... she has no airs and graces". And he is right. She throws her head back to laugh often - a delicious, throaty cackle which bubbles up from her - sends herself up constantly and has a mischievous sparkle in her eye.

But she is no soft touch, and woe betide anyone who lets her down on a professional front. "I am not bossy but stupid things annoy me. The other week at the York and Albany I was helping out with breakfast and the staff were not carrying trays, for heaven's sake. People are not going to come back if they have a awful breakfast service. I always believe you can make mistakes as long as you show humility and you are willing to apologise.

"I am fairly hands on. I don't go in there at seven to peel carrots but I am there for services. If you are too hands-on, you do not let the people under you develop, so you have to find a balance, otherwise they will leave." Her words of wisdom have been called upon more than once in the past year, an annus horribilis for Ramsay. Last November the married father-of-four had to confront claims of a seven-year affair with Sarah Symonds. Six months later, it emerged he was getting ready-made meals from backstreet kitchens delivered to some of his restaurants in London, then charging customers five times the cost, prompting tabloid headlines of "coq au van".

As the credit crunch hit and his profits plummeted from £3 million (Dh18.4m) to £400,000 (Dh2.5m), he sold his Ferrari and injected £5m (Dh31m) of his own money to keep the business afloat and avoid filing for bankruptcy. "We have tightened everything up and everyone is acutely aware of scaling back a bit, which is no bad thing," Hartnett says. "Where we were losing money, like Paris and Versailles, we have just pulled out.

"To be fair to Gordon, he did smile over the coq au van headline. I think he had just got to the point where he was either going to laugh or cry. I think it was all a bit harsh. We buy in bread and chocolates in Murano and they are still great quality - it is not like I am buying Cadburys and sticking them on a tray. "Gordon is a fighter, though." As for what the future holds for her, she does not dismiss the option of branching out on her own: "Never say never, but for the moment, I am really happy."

Hartnett would like children but has not met anyone to settle down with yet. "Women are having kids later and later. If I got to 45 and nothing had happened, I would think: 'That's it'. But I still think if I want them in the next few years, I could. There is nothing to say you cannot be a female chef and have it all. There are a lot of outstanding chefs with families and children. It's different in Europe because they run their restaurants as family businesses. For now, I have a crazy Jack Russell called Alfie and he just has to look at kids to start growling."

In the meantime, things have come full circle. She emulates Ramsay's favour to her by inviting amateur chefs to spend time in the kitchen when they write to her seeking a start in the industry. "It is the only way you're going to see it. Come and stand there from 7.30am until midnight and then tell me you want to be a chef. People have misguided ideas about what it takes and think they are going to make lots of money. They forget Gordon worked for 20 years solid before he got to this level. I get them peeling onions and after 24 hours, you don't see them again."work alongside the famously foul-mouthed chef, whose expletive-laden outbursts have become synonymous with his TV series, The F-Word. Hartnett herself has been called everything from a "b****" to "Dizzy Lizzy".

"Gordon has a reputation that is worse than his bite," she says, her deep-set hazel-grey eyes twinkling. "If we didn't get along, I wouldn't have stayed with him as long as I have." Of his two epithets, which is most apt? "I can be a total cow when I want - and I can be as flaky as you like," she says. "It is probably somewhere in between. "A lot of my key management team have been with me for years. It is about training people, showing you care and looking after their future. It comes down to the simple things like asking: 'Have you had a nice day and how's your mum?' and getting underneath their skin, understanding that people genuinely want to work for you."

All of which sounds a world away from the Ramsay working environment described as "Vietnam" by chefs who fled elsewhere. "It is long hours, anti-social and people can be a bit abrupt," she admits. "It is not hard because I'm a woman, it is just hard because it is a hard business. Sometimes you feel you are in the men's changing room but as I got better and my position has gotten higher, there is less of that in front of me.

"Having said that, 25 chefs before me got a Catey, but none of them got the headlines I did. Being a woman is the biggest advantage I have over anyone in this business." What has probably helped Hartnett survive is her incredibly down-to-earth, self-deprecating nature. These days Ramsay describes her as "warm and natural with everybody she meets... she has no airs and graces". And he is right. She throws her head back to laugh often - a delicious, throaty cackle which bubbles up from her - sends herself up constantly and has a mischievous sparkle in her eye.

But she is no soft touch, and woe betide anyone who lets her down on a professional front. "I am not bossy but stupid things annoy me. The other week at the York and Albany I was helping out with breakfast and the staff were not carrying trays, for heaven's sake. People are not going to come back if they have a awful breakfast service. I always believe you can make mistakes as long as you show humility and you are willing to apologise.

"I am fairly hands on. I don't go in there at seven to peel carrots but I am there for services. If you are too hands-on, you do not let the people under you develop, so you have to find a balance, otherwise they will leave." Her words of wisdom have been called upon more than once in the past year, an annus horribilis for Ramsay. Last November the married father-of-four had to confront claims of a seven-year affair with Sarah Symonds. Six months later, it emerged he was getting ready-made meals from backstreet kitchens delivered to some of his restaurants in London, then charging customers five times the cost, prompting tabloid headlines of "coq au van".

As the credit crunch hit and his profits plummeted from £3 million (Dh18.4m) to £400,000 (Dh2.5m), he sold his Ferrari and injected £5m (Dh31m) of his own money to keep the business afloat and avoid filing for bankruptcy. "We have tightened everything up and everyone is acutely aware of scaling back a bit, which is no bad thing," Hartnett says. "Where we were losing money, like Paris and Versailles, we have just pulled out.

"To be fair to Gordon, he did smile over the coq au van headline. I think he had just got to the point where he was either going to laugh or cry. I think it was all a bit harsh. We buy in bread and chocolates in Murano and they are still great quality - it is not like I am buying Cadburys and sticking them on a tray. "Gordon is a fighter, though." As for what the future holds for her, she does not dismiss the option of branching out on her own: "Never say never, but for the moment, I am really happy."

Hartnett would like children but has not met anyone to settle down with yet. "Women are having kids later and later. If I got to 45 and nothing had happened, I would think: 'That's it'. But I still think if I want them in the next few years, I could. There is nothing to say you cannot be a female chef and have it all. There are a lot of outstanding chefs with families and children. It's different in Europe because they run their restaurants as family businesses. For now, I have a crazy Jack Russell called Alfie and he just has to look at kids to start growling."

In the meantime, things have come full circle. She emulates Ramsay's favour to her by inviting amateur chefs to spend time in the kitchen when they write to her seeking a start in the industry. "It is the only way you're going to see it. Come and stand there from 7.30am until midnight and then tell me you want to be a chef. People have misguided ideas about what it takes and think they are going to make lots of money. They forget Gordon worked for 20 years solid before he got to this level. I get them peeling onions and after 24 hours, you don't see them again."

Ingredients: 400g double-zero pasta flour ½ tsp salt 4 eggs 1 tbsp olive oil Method: Mix the flour and salt together and tip on to a work surface or board. Make a well in the centre. Mix together the eggs and oil and pour two-thirds into the well, reserving the rest. Starting from the outside, work the flour into the liquid until a dough forms. The dough is conditioned by its environment, so depending on the warmth of your kitchen and hands, you may need to add the remaining egg mixture if the dough doesn't come together. Knead until it is smooth, firm and elastic (this will take 5-10 minutes). Wrap in cling film and rest in the fridge for an hour before using. The dough will keep for up to 24 hours in the fridge if wrapped tightly, first in cling film and then in foil. Servings: Makes 600g

Ingredients: 1 quantity pasta dough Half a pumpkin (about 2kg), seeded and cut into wedges 100g parmesan, freshly grated 100g mustard fruits, chopped 2-3 amaretti biscuits, crushed Salt and freshly ground black pepper For the sage butter: 200ml vegetable stock 100g butter 12 fresh sage leaves Method: Start this recipe the day before you want to eat it. Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4. Arrange the pumpkin wedges in a roasting tin and sprinkle with rock salt. Cover the tin with foil and cook in the oven for 45-50 minutes, or until tender when pierced with the point of a knife. Remove from the oven, and when cool enough to handle, scrape the pumpkin flesh from the skin. Place the flesh in a muslin cloth or a fine sieve and hang overnight above a bowl in a cool place to drain off all the excess liquid. Place the pumpkin in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add the parmesan and mustard fruits and season. Pulse-blend to combine. Cut the pasta dough into 3-4 pieces. Use a rolling pin to flatten each piece to the width of your pasta machine. Run it twice through the narrowest notch. Using a serrated pastry wheel, cut into a long strip 10cm wide. Put one heaped teaspoon of filling at 2.5cm intervals along each strip of pasta, two-thirds of the way down the strip. Brush in between each mound with egg wash. Fold over the long side of the pasta nearest you, cupping your hand and carefully pressing down around each mound to get all the air out. Brush the top third of the strip with egg wash and fold it back down over the mounds, again pressing with your cupped hands. Using a serrated pastry wheel, cut out individual tortelli about 3cm square. At this stage, you can par-cook them to use later. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and blanch the tortelli for 30 seconds. Drain and plunge immediately into iced water. Remove and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Drizzle with a little olive oil and then cover with cling film. The tortelli can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours. To finish cooking, place the stock and butter in a pan and bring to the boil over a medium heat, whisking vigorously. Add the sage leaves and a little seasoning just before serving. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the tortelli and cook for 3 minutes. Drain and serve, drizzled with the sage butter and with the amaretti crumbs sprinkled on top. Servings: 4-6

Ingredients: 400g spinach 2 tbsp water 150g ricotta Pinch grated nutmeg 50g fresh breadcrumbs 75g parmesan cheese, grated, plus extra to serve Salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 quantity pasta dough 1 free-range egg, beaten Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling Method: Cook the spinach in a large saucepan with 2 tbsp water for about three minutes until it wilts. Remove and set aside to cool, then squeeze out all the excess moisture. Chop the spinach finely then place in a bowl. Add the ricotta and mix together. Add the nutmeg, breadcrumbs, parmesan and season to taste. Refrigerate until you're ready to fill the tortelli. Roll out the pasta dough and make the tortelli as above, using three-quarters of a teaspoon as filling per tortelli. At this stage you can par-cook the tortelli to serve later. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and blanch the tortelli for 30 seconds. Drain and plunge the pasta immediately into iced water. Remove and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and cover with cling film. The tortelli can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours. When ready to cook, boil the tortelli in a large pan of salted water for three minutes. Drain and serve with a drizzle of olive oil and some extra parmesan. Servings: 4-6

Ingredients: 1 quantity pasta dough 200g fresh peas, podded weight 50ml olive oil, plus extra for drizzling 1 garlic clove, crushed Handful of freshly chopped mint Handful of freshly grated parmesan 200g soft goat's milk cheese, crumbled Salt and freshly ground black pepper Method: Roll out the dough to about 30cm in length, then cut into tagliatelle ribons and form little nests. Set aside to dry for 20 minutes. Cook the peas in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Drain and plunge into iced water. Set aside. Heat the olive oil in a pan over a low heat and add the garlic. Cook for one minute, then add the drained peas, and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the tagliatelle for 3-4 minutes until al dente. Drain and add to the pea mixture. Toss well then season to taste and add the chopped mint and a drizzle of olive oil. Scatter over the parmesan and goat's cheese before serving. Servings: 4

This recipe uses the summer truffle, which is more economical than the winter variety. Ingredients: 1 quantity pasta dough 150g butter 100ml vegetable or chicken stock 30g summer truffle, finely sliced Salt and freshly ground black pepper Method: Roll out the pasta and cut into tagliatelle as above. Put the butter and stock into a small pan over a low heat. When the butter has melted, whisk to form a sauce. Remove from the heat and set aside. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the tagliatelle and cook for 3-4 minutes, until al dente. Drain well, then toss with the butter sauce. Season to taste and serve immediately, topped with the truffle slices. Servings: 4

This is a rustic creation from the Emilia-Romagna region and, in my view, there's no tastier pasta dish in Italy. Ingredients: 1 quantity pasta dough 4 rabbit legs 50ml olive oil Knob of butter 1 small carrot, finely chopped 1 small onion, finely chopped 1 celery stick, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, crushed 2 sprigs fresh thyme 2 sprigs fresh rosemary 1 tsp tomato purée About 250ml chicken or vegetable stock Salt and freshly ground black pepper Freshly grated parmesan to serve Small handful flat-leaf parsley to serve Method: Roll the dough and cut into strips about 3cm x 20cm, then drape over a rolling pin for 20 minutess. Season the rabbit legs. Heat the olive oil and butter in a pan, add the rabbit legs and brown on all sides. Remove the rabbit from the pan, add the vegetables, garlic and herbs and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until evenly coloured. Return the rabbit to the pan and add the tomato purée. Cook for two minutes, then turn up the heat to bubble then reduce. Pour over enough stock to cover, then place a circle of baking parchment on top and cook on a low simmer until the meat comes away easily from the bones. This will take about 45 minutes. Remove the rabbit and set aside until cool enough to handle. Shred the meat into small pieces. Discard the bones. Strain the stock, discarding the vegetables, and return to a clean pan. Add the rabbit to the stock and place over a medium heat. Simmer until reduced and thick. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the pappardelle for 4-5 minutes, or until al dente. Drain and toss with the rabbit sauce. Serve scattered with freshly grated parmesan and chopped parsley. Servings: 4-6 Recipes from Cucina: Three Generations of Italian Family Cooking by Angela Hartnett (Dh163, Ebury).

1 Use free-range eggs, ideally from chickens imported from Italy as their yolks give a better colour. 2 Use double-zero pasta flour. 3 Let the dough rest for at least half an hour before rolling it. 4 Weigh out a minimum of 500g of flour, which should be enough for 10-12 portions. 5 Ensure when you roll out the dough, the part you not are using stays covered. 6 Most kitchens are air-conditioned so humidity should not be an issue. If you are worried about too much moisture, use one egg less.

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