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How Chef Evan Funke Became a Master Pasta-Maker

Funke credits his time in Bologna, Italy, for his desire to make pasta

On this episode of Plateworthy, chef Nyesha Arrington visits chef Evan Funke — who says he knows how to make more than 155 pasta shapes — at LA’s Felix, where he teaches Arrington how to make tortellini by hand. “No machines,” Funke says. “[Just] sticks, hands, and mind.”

Funke credits his time in Bologna, Italy for starting his journey into handmade pasta. “I only made machine pasta, all yolks, with very little understanding of the architecture of how things work or the history for that matter of all the shapes,” he says. “When I moved to Bologna, and studied under maestra Alesandra, she was the one to open the door for me to start seeking out other pasta-makers that still make it all by hand.”

Since then, he’s taken to heart the lessons he learned on that trip. For example, when making a well in a mound of flour for the eggs, he remembers when he failed at that process. “The first time I made dough in Bologna, the maestra Alessandra gave me 60 eggs and six kilos of flour,” says Funke. “I didn’t make the walls of my well robust enough, and I had 60 eggs on the ground.”

After all this time, Funke is still perfecting his craft.

“Over 13, 14 years later, and I’m still figuring it out,” says Funke.

Watch the full video to see how Funke and Arrington make the dough and shape the tortellini by hand.

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