Homemade Tagliatelle with Thia
What’s my favourite thing to cook? Pasta.
Why? Allow me to refer you to the faces of those Two Greedy Italians, Antonio Carluccio & Gennaro Contaldo. Their series across their native Italy back in 2011 is still one of the most entertaining food series I have watched and below I give you a clip of them preparing a homemade Amatriciana sauce, similiar to the one I prepared with my aunty for this post.
The simplicity of it is what makes it special; but away from it being a quick and easy meal to prepare, given some love pasta of any kind becomes something extraordinary.
Pasta is a success story in its own right. Among other produce (like beans and pulses), it’s an example of poor man’s food basking in the limelight. It’s the Zidane of the football world, the Alan Sugar of the business world and can even be likened to the humble beginnings of Ken Hom in the chef world. A basic mixture of egg, flour and/or semolina, pasta began feeding hungry mouths in Southern Italy to becoming one of the most celebrated dishes that exists. It really is a beautiful thing and I never get tired of hearing how pasta features in peoples’ lives, especially within Italian families where Nonna’s just can't be beaten.
Eversince starting FeedTim, I have been overwhelmed with the opportunities given to me to feed my love of cooking. This post is dedicated to my Aunty Roulla (Thia in Greek) who bought a pasta making machine and asked if I wanted to come over to make homemade tagliatelle for the family. I of course couldn’t refuse.
The pasta machine was a thing of beauty, an Atlas Marcato 150 (as if I know my pasta rollers). It was pristine and included numerous settings and cutters that allow you to roll your pasta sheet to different widths so you can make spaghetti as well as sheets for ravioli on top of the tagliatelle we made. Thia also had a neat pasta drying rack from John Lewis.
The pasta making bit was the easiest part (for my auntie anyway). When I arrived she had already prepared a homemade olive focaccia, a fragrant Mediterranean salad, figs stuffed with goats cheese that were wrapped with Parma Ham ready to be baked and a Chorizo Jam. Yes, that is correct, a jam made out of chorizo meat and the recipe can be found on this blog. I too had never heard of this one and couldn’t resist trying as soon as I arrived. The subtle smoky and sweet flavours were delightful as a sticky spread on the focaccia. My other aunty (Thia Marina) later adorned the table with a homemade Tarte Tatin. This was her first attempt and it was really quite special topped with clotted cream.
Then work was to be done. Below is the recipe for our homemade tagliatelle which we served with an Amatriciana sauce of tomatoes (cooked with ½ and onion that was later removed) chilli and pancetta along with a homemade basil pesto.
Prep Time – depends how efficient you are with your machine. Forming, kneading, resting, rolling out and cutting the dough took my auntie and I approx. 1.5 hours
Cooking Time – 2 mins
Semolina – 150g
00 flour – 150 g (and plenty more to dust the pasta sheets at each stage of rolling)
Eggs – 3
Splash of water
Pan of boiling, well-salted water
Combine the 2 flours on a clean surface
Make a well in the middle and crack the 3 eggs inside
Combine the flour and eggs together with your hands until it becomes a manageable dough
Knead the dough passionately (look at the arms of your average Nonna) for at least 10mins until it feels elastic and springy
Pop in a bowl and cover with cling film for 30mins
Remove the dough from the bowl and divide evenly into 4 pieces
Flour your work surface
Roll each piece until it’s about ½ cm thick
Dust the rolled out piece with flour and begin to roll at the widest setting (No.0) on either side
At this point you progress through the numbers (the higher the number the thinner the sheet) until you reach your desired thickness. We continued to number 6
(You want to roll the pasta sheet out on either side as you proceed through each setting, flouring as you go along)
When you have reached your desired thickness, dust the sheet lightly with flour for the last time and carefully wind it through the tagliatelle cutter. Use one hand to guide it through the cutter and the other to collect the freshly cut strands, making sure they remain flat
Hang the pasta (from whatever really, you don’t need a pasta drying rack) to dry as you repeat the process with the remaining dough
This is fresh pasta and so requires literally minutes to cook (at most). Please do it properly and cook it al-dente, especially after all your efforts