From Skyscrapers to Lemon Groves: Part 3 -
Bringing back the joys of homemade pasta…Tagliatelle fatte a mano
The ritual of making homemade pasta is becoming a thing of the past, even in Italy, the homeland of homemade pasta. Barilla and Garofalo are two of the major companies that produce mass amounts of high quality pasta in Italy and abroad, making homemade pasta an unnecessary project. Younger generations also see pasta being made by hand as a time consuming annoyance that their grandparents used to do “back in the day”.
Yet homemade pasta can be a fun project, and that’s just what I decided to do one rainy Sunday morning with my cousin, whose name also happens to be Valeria! We decided to make a popular ribbon shaped pasta called Tagliatelle. The process was a little messy and a lot of fun! Below is the recipe so that you can try it at home.
Warning: This recipe is not from a cook book. It has been passed down through generations and does not use a measuring system, but rather your own eye and judgment as to what looks “right”. Cooking is a creative art. Good luck!
First, you will need:
800 kili of Flour
7 pinches of salt
A pasta making machine (available at department and kitchen stores)
Mix about half of the flour with the eggs and salt all together in a bowl until thick, kneading and folding over the dough with your hands for about 5 minutes. This is an important process because it develops the gluten in the pasta, which then gives the pasta a firm texture. Let it sit for about 30 minutes.
After the dough has been sitting for 30 minutes, use your hands to roll it into a long log form and cut in about 3 inch increments. Make sure that it is covered with enough flour so that it won’t stick!
Flatten each 3 inch section with your hands and place it into the widest setting of a pasta roller, shown below. This will make the dough flat. There should be a variety of settings on a machine that is designed to make pasta, and we will be using three of the settings.
Next, change the setting on the machine so that it will create a longer and flatter piece of dough. Put the flat dough through again, this time creating the longer and thinner layer. Keep adding flour to the dough.
Finally, change the setting once again to cut the dough into the desired shape…in our case this will be long ribbon shapes. Put the pieces of dough back through the machine one at a time. The machine will cut the dough into long ribbons. Put the ribbons aside on a plate until all of the dough is finished. Throughout this entire process, keep the ribbons covered in flour so that they won’t stick. There should be flour on top of the dough at all times.
Boil a pot of water and throw in the pasta, separating it with a fork so the ribbons don’t stick together. Boil for about 5 minutes or until “al dente”. Keep tasting the pasta after about 3 minutes, however, to make sure it does not overcook… and voila! Talgliatelli fatte a mano!