Most of us know there are rules to be followed if we want to make beautiful pasta. For the collaboration between Pasta e Cuore, Kelmarna Gardens and Slow Food Auckland we got to learn some of them from the amazing chef Stefania Ugolini of Pasta e Cuore. Stefania brought pasta making to life, sharing the time honoured traditions of the kitchens and restaurants from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. We experienced Bologna in Kelmarna as we made pasta together, shared stories (and maybe a bit of innocent gossip), drank Italian coffee and ate biscotti. The workshop celebrated these two inspiring Slow Food Auckland Snail of Approval recipients. We are happy to share Stefania’s pasta making rules and some useful tips that we picked up.
Just eggs and flour (don’t use high grade flour). The balance between liquid and solid is important (Rule1) – in Aotearoa its 100g of flour to 62g of egg (weigh the egg shell on – size 6 is usually good.) 100g of flour is one serving. We used the beautiful Kelmarna eggs.
Do the initial mixing with a fork to bring the egg and four together before using your hands.
Push and fold – no chopping. Treat the dough like a baby – gentle so you don’t break it. Fold, roll, turn. (Rule 2)
Keep your board clean. You can use wood, marble or steel. When smooth rest the dough in a plastic bag for 15 – 20 minutes. (Rule 3) This is a great time for coffee and stories. After resting roll the dough into an oval.
Put the dough through the pasta machine. Go through every setting on the machine (don’t miss any).Stay in front of the machine. Look at the dough. Guide the dough. Cut the dough in half to make rolling more manageable as it grows longer.
Take the time to be proud of your creation. Dry the dough on your board before cutting. Once dry you can flour the dough to prevent the pasta sticking together.
Roll the dough 3 fingers wide for cutting – cutting by hand adds authenticity and keeps the surface rougher to “grab” the sauce. Keep the scraps for soup. Use a sharp knife.
Cut the rolled dough to your chosen width – one that matches your sauce.
You don’t have to cook the pasta immediately – twist it into individual portions and set it aside until you are ready to cook. This way the pasta wont break when you pick it up.
Twisting in action as we pack up our pasta. Tagliatelle was the go. To cook your pasta use a large pot with one litre of water per serving (as salty as sea water).
Thank you Stefania for teaching us the rules and nuances of pasta making. You have taken us to a whole new level of confidence and left us in awe of your knowledge, skills, artistry and generosity.