Words and photos by Andrea
Italian Sundays are all about cooking and having long lunches with the whole family. A Sunday’s classic is homemade pasta. A few weeks ago, a dear friend of mine taught me how to prepare fresh tagliatelle and it’s easier than you think!
The only tool you need is a “pasta maker” like the one you find here to press the dough! This is something you can also do using a rolling pin, as Italian grandmas, but the pasta maker makes things easier easier .
100 gr of white flour (00) per person
1 egg per person
pasta maker or rolling pin, cling film
First of all, make sure you have enough space on the table, a few empty plates ready to be filled with fresh pasta and a helper, because homemade pasta is a team work!
Place the flour in a bowl or, even better, on a wooden board (something that all Italian grandmas have). Make a well in the centre and add the eggs into it, beating them with a fork until smooth.
Add a pinch of salt and continue mixing the ingredients with your fingers until they are well combined.
Now knead the dough on the board or on the table for a few minutes. You have to stretch it and shape it again and again until it becomes smooth and silky.
Wrap the dough with cling film and place it in the fridge for 30-40 minutes. Make sure it is well wrapped so that no air gets to the dough.
After approximately 30 minutes, cut the dough into medium-small pieces and start pressing them with your hands adding some flour on top of them and on the board/table surface. Now, you can either place them, one by one, inside the machine – as shown in the images above – or press them with a rolling pin util the dough gets very very thin. If you will be using the machine you will be able to gradually regulate the pressing roll starting from 3 and rolling the pasta dough through it until it gets thin enough to go through the narrowest setting (1). Also, if you will be using the machine, for this and the following step you will need someone’s help to carry the pressed dough/tagliatelle coming out of the pasta maker.
Once that the dough has become long and thin – see the video below – you add some fresh flour and either use the included dies to cut the pasta into tagliatelle – in this case you can cut the long dough in a few pieces each one of them with the length of a “spaghetto”, or – if you will be using the rolling pin, you can roll the long dough up without pressing it (creating a “loose” roll), and cut the tagliatelle with a knife.
Then, place the tagliatelle in different plates – only a few of them per plate – always adding some flour to them so they do not stick to each other. Make sure to cook them quickly once they are ready, fresh pasta get dried very easily!
PS : In the next issue I am going to share my grandma’s Bolognese ragout recipe so you are all set to prepare a proper Italian Sunday lunch!