Monday, January 4, 2016

L'Arte della Sfoglia, Part 4: Other Pasta Shapes

In addition to tortelloni and tortellini, Claudio and Ida make a variety of other pasta shapes. Using their supple sfoglia, they make bowties.

And garganelli. The ridged tubes are created using a pettine.

They make small cuts for soup.

Ribbons in a variety of widths.

Narrow ones are paired with butter or fish. Tagliatelle is served with ragu, and mushroom and game sauces go with wide pappardelle. The strands are cut to order sometimes by hand, sometimes by machine and formed into nests.

It seems that forming the perfect nest is an art in itself.

Requiring just the right amount of fluffing.

Separating of the strands.

A precise weight.

And a certain winding motion.

My nests never look so artful or voluminous. They layer sfoglia with ragu for lasagna, to be be baked for precisely 45 minutes at 180˚C.

The extruder was not put to use the day we visited.

Claudio explained that they use 90% semolina and 10% 00 flour with a mix of egg and a little water for their macaroni.

Incidentally, they do have a small display of Giuseppe Cocco dry pasta, because for certain dishes, only dry extruded pasta will do.

Flavored pastas are also made in the shop. Spinach pasta is mixed using the ratio of 8 eggs and 100 grams spinach to 1 kilogram 00 flour. Cordonetti, named after shoe laces, is made with 1 kilogram integrale—that’s Italian for whole wheat—flour, 200 grams 00 flour, 10 eggs, and 170 grams water. This dough cannot be rolled as thin as dough made from 100% 00 flour, and the resulting pasta looks more like spaghetti alla chitarra. It’s served with ragu and all kinds of other sauces. Neither of these were on the prep list the day we visited.

After our brains were filled with so much knowledge, it was time to fill our bellies. Ida cooked up a lunch of gargantuan portions of tortellini in cream sauce and then lasagna, which we ate at a tablecloth-covered workbench. Needless to say it was outstanding.

We thought we learned so much about the art of pasta that morning. But as Claudio pointed out, 100 kilometers away from Bologna all of the pasta shapes and all of the fillings are completely different. We’ve only just scratched the surface!

Previously: L'Arte della Sfoglia, Part 3: Tortellini.


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