Introduction: Traditional Italian Pasta
The past 6 months I had the pleasure to live with an exchange student from Milan. As I came to know Italians really love their food and their ways to prepare it. One of the most iconic dished is of course the traditional home made pasta made by (grand)ma with a rolling pin.
Step 1: Tools + Ingredients
The traditional pasta is made using a long rolling pin. The one we used is 60 cm long and has a diameter of about 3,5 cm. Furthermore it is best to make the pasta on a untreated smooth wooden surface, thou a couple of silicon baking mats work as a good substitute.
For the pasta itself all you need is all purpose flower and egg. Per person you need 1 egg and dependent on the size of the egg about 80-100g of flower. It is best to start at the lower spectrum and incrementally add more flower if the dough remains "too wet" after thoroughly kneading it since too much flower will cause the dough to be too elastic and will induce seems and cracks later on.
Step 2: Mountain of Flower
Make a "mountain" with a hole in the middle big enough such that the egg is contained inside.
Wisk the egg with a fork slowly incorporating the flower. When the fork starts to gumup proceed with your hands to further mix it together.
Step 3: Kneeding
Kneed the dough with both hands until it forms one homogeneous substance.
Step 4: "Massaging"
Now massage the dough in a disk without any visible cracks or folds. The way to do this is to start off with a rough ball shape. Then slightly press the dough forward (and stretching it slightly) using the bottom of your right thumb/wrist part without squishing it with the other fingers of your right hand.
Once pressed forward bring it back and rotate it with your finger tips. Use your left hand to stop the dough and to guide it back in to a disk shape. Then repeat until its completely smooth without any folds or cracks
I know its kind of hard to see on foto's though I tried to capture every "key frame" to illustrate the procedure.
Step 5: Rolling
Then rol out the dough as much as possible. Make sure to regularly rotate it to keep it circular shaped. Also make sure to not roll all the way to the end and just stop1-2cm from the edge. This part will get flattened on the next 'round' when its get rotated.
Step 6: Stretching Along the Rolling Pin
After some time rolling it flat the thickness stagnates. Then role it tightly on the rolling pin a few cm at the time. When on the pin slide your palms a few times from the inside to the outside over the dough stretching it ever so slightly. Then continue with rolling the next few cm on the pin all the way to the end.
Step 7: Loosening Up
The dough might get kind of stuck to the pin. To loosen it up and prevent tearing it is rolled accross the table in such a way that the dough stays on the pin.
Step 8: Stretching With the Rolling Pin
Next the dough is stretched again. Place the left hand on the dough to press it down on to the table. The other hand grabs the pin and dough on the pin and pulling it ever so slightly out while making zigzag movement. Then unroll it a bit further and repeat until all the dough is released. This way the dough is stretched in the opposite (90 degree rotation) way compared to the first stretch. Then Repeat the preceding two steps until the dough is thin enough to be transparent.
Step 9: Cutting the Tagliatella
Role the dough loosely into a "burrito" then slice it in to strips with a sharp knife.Then cook the pasta 2-3 minutes in (sea) salted water and serve with your favorite sauce. The pasta can also be stored in the freezer for later use.
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