Saturday, June 16, 2007

Tagliatelle e trofie fatte in casa!

I've been super busy this past week, and I didn't even have time to post about this really cool 'event' that we organized last weekend! My friend Andrea who lives in Berkeley also loves to cook and we've been thinking about organizing something for a while. So last weekend we decided to invite a bunch of people over at his place and have a 'Pasta workshop'!
The idea was to make tagliatelle and trofie ourselves, and prepare three different sauces.. whoever wanted to come help was welcome. My Japanese friends Keisuke, Miako and their lovely son came from the very beginning and were some of the most supportive fans of our pasta!
Making pasta for 25 people turned out to be tiring but fun! And the result was really delicious. I was very happy, also because I never made any of that pasta before. Below is a little summary of what we did and the recipes.

We prepared two different types of tagliatelle - one with sapphron in the dough and one with mushroom water in it, because we wanted to give them a little flavor that would go well with the sauce we were planning on making.
Tagliatelle is an egg rich pasta, so don't be surprised for how many eggs you have to put in the dough! It's going to be enough for a lot of servings, anyway.
We also made trofie, which is a type of pasta typical of Liguria, always hand made, and mostly eaten with pesto.

Dough for tagliatelle:
2.6 lb flour
12 eggs
2 tbsp water
Make a 'volcano' with the flour on a big and clean working surface, break the eggs in the volcano hole and start mixing them together with the dough, kneading them in. You should add as little water as possible to this dough, to make it workable. Then you should work it for at least 10 minutes, until it becomes softer and elastic.
Note: to make the sapphron taqliatelle, dissolve 1/2 tsp sapphron in the water, and to make the mushroom flavored tagliatelle, use water where you boiled dry porcini mushrooms instead.
When you're done, wrap the dough in plastic foil and let it rest for one hour.

Dough for trofie:
2.4 lb flour
2 cups water more or less
2 tbsp salt
Mix all the ingredients and knead for at least ten minutes. Add water if necessary. When done, wrap in plastic foil and let it rest for one hour.

Preparation of tagliatelle:
You need a pasta machine like my wonderful 'La Novecento Torino', which belonged to my greatgrandmother, or a more modern and fancy one. :)
This machine can make very thin sheets of flour like this one:
You have to devide the dough into small flat 'squares', and then pass them through
the machine many times decreasing the width of the slit they go through every time.
You probably shouldn't get to the point of having such long pieces like the one I showed in the picture above, but that was for fun. :)
It's very helpful if you have someone like Luisa with you :)
She was passing me the pieces in the right order, so we could go much faster, and decrease the slit width only every few pieces of dough.
Once you have your dough sheets of the right thickness (i.e., for tagliatelle, the smallest setting I had on the machine), you can add the cutting attachment to the machine and start the real fun part: actually making the tagliatelle!
When you pass the dough through the sharp rolls, the tagliatelle come out.. it's such a wonderful view!
Suggestion: add some flour on the dough before cutting it, and sprinkle more flour on the tagliatelle just made. Set them on a large tray so they don't stack on each other, otherwise they will clump and they won't be as good.
This is how fast we were moving them around on the tray to avoid them clumping:
And this is the tray with the sapphron tagliatelle ready to be cooked:

Preparation of trofie:
Another group of us was making trofie. Trofie don't require and particular instrumentation, just a lot of patient friends. :)
(Elif and Vardha at work)
To make trofie, you have to take tiny pieces of dough and roll them either between your fingers or on the table, and obtain those funny little worms that you see in front of Elif above.

Of course now you're only half way done. Good pasta is nothing if you don't have a good sauce. For tagliatelle, we chose to make a zucchini sauce and a mushroom sauce, and trofie go traditionally with pesto. So here are the recipes for the sauces:

Zucchini sauce
10 small white zucchini
1 white onion
1/2 lb small tomatoes (romanitas)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sapphron
~3 tsp salt

Cut the onion and the zucchini in small pieces, heat up the olive oil. Sautee the zucchini for a while. Add the sapphron dissolved in water. Add salt. Cover with a lid and let it cook for ~15 min. At the end, add the tomatoes cut in half. Sautee for a few more minutes, add salt, and it's ready to pour on the pasta.

Porcini mushroom sauce
3 porcini mushrooms
1 lb brown mushrooms
6 small shallots
White wine and mushroom water to cook

Gently scrape the mushroom surface to remove all the dirt. Remove the parts that are too soft. Cut the mushrooms in thin slices and cook them in a little olive oil, on low heat, adding some salt. Add the shallots finely cut, sautee them with the mushrooms for ~5 minutes, then add ~1/2 cup total white wine and mushroom water if you still have some from the dough and let it cook covered for 5-10 more minutes. Pour on the pasta and add some finely cut parseley before serving.

Traditional pesto sauce
This is the recipe for traditional pesto from Liguria. Anywhere else you won't find the green beans and potatoes with pesto. But it's a really nice addition, you should definitely try it.

1 lb green beans
6 small yellow potatoes
1 big bunch basil
1/2 cup pinenuts
4 cloves garlic
a chunk of pecorino (size depending on how much you like it)
Olive oil

Cut the green beans and the onions in small pieces. Cook them in salted boiling water for ~10 min. Drain and cool down with cold water and set aside. In a blender, finely chop basil, pinenuts, pecorino, garlic. Take out of the blender and add enough olive oil to cover well. If you didn't add much pecorino, you may have to add some salt. When the pasta is ready, mix the basil mix and the beans and potato mix with it. Serve hot with trofie for a real Liguria dish.

All the pasta must be cooked in a lot of salted boiling water, turning from time to time to avoid clumping. Tagliatelle take only ~ 3 minutes, whereas trofie take a bit longer. Trofie will start floating after a while, but they'll need to cook a little longer before they're done.

Nicola took care of this part:
When the pasta is cooked, mix with the sauce immediately and serve as soon as possible.
Here is Andrea serving the first pasta that came out:
And here are the final creations!
Tagliatelle con zafferano e zucchini (Sapphron and zucchini tagliatelle):

Tagliatelle ai funghi porcini (Porcini mushroom tagliatelle)

Trofie al pesto
Every time we brought one of these bowls out, they were completely finished in the first 5 minutes. Everyone was really impressed - it's not that common to have fresh pasta here! And to be honest, I was also really impressed. I never made it before, and it was absolutely delicious!
I'm submitting this entry to the "Presto pasta nights" hosted by my friend Ruth at Once Upon a Feast, although the whole pasta making wasn't presto at all: we started at 4.30 pm and we were eating at 8 pm.. but it was a meal for 25 people, starting from scratch! If you buy your pasta, making the sauces I described above is really fast indeed.


feranick said...

May we add that all three dishes were delicious??? Great job, Marta!

Luisa & Nicola

antonio said...

really really serious.
In realta' io faccio la stessa cosa, sperimento ricette italiane all'estero sperando di tirare fuori il meglio dai prodotti locali, solo che lo faccio a Dublino. Per esempio qui il latte e' molto migliore di quello italiano e le ricette con i latticini vengono bene =)

Tuttavia, ho trovato il tuo blog cercando di pasta all'uovo, visto che ultimamente sto cercarndo di carpirne i segreti (il primo esperimento ieri non e' andato tanto male), a differenza tua io stendo col mattarello, sia perche' pare che venendo piu' ruvide le tagliatelle assorbano meglio il sugo, sia perche' non ho la macchinetta per stendere =)

Ne approfittero' per linkare il tuo blog dal mio, keep up the great work!


angie, Brisbane said...

Wow they all look so Yummy! My partner has just walked in the door with a whole box of uncooked egg trofie approx 6 kgs which I have never seen before, so googled and came across your page, looks like we will be doing some serious pestos and pasta sauces tomorrow night, I hope once we cook this and the pasta it will be ok to pack into meal sizes and freeze for a later date. Thanks for taking the time to post and show us the photos. Angela, Brisbane.
I have been asked to let every-one know how I cooked them and served with what.