TUSCAN RECIPES … today, PASTA “all’Uovo”
Nonna Margherita Dottorelli in her kitchen, 1905
Some excellent Tuscan recipes from her granddaughter, Marta, who refuses to be just a character in a novel made up by that writer
Pasta all’Uovo (Egg Noodle Pasta)
Here I have a mystery:
Why would beautiful Signora Chiara ask me about Tombaroli?
This is too much. (As that “writer” might say in her idiom.) I know the writer put the thought into my Signora’s head.
Chiara asked me, with her lying smile, “Is it true that there are people – maybe even very respectable people – living in the little Tuscan villages and towns, who break into lost tombs: with very good intentions of course: only to save these treasures from being sent away to foreign museums…?”
Beh! As if the good people in our villages would do this. As if I, Marta Dottorelli, would know anything about it.
But I have promised to tell you how I make my pasta.
Perhaps you already have some machine for doing this, which takes long minutes to put together and then more minutes to clean and put away?
Forget this. You will need a fork, some eggs and flour, and a good sharp knife.
3 ¼ cups of flour “all purpose”
Also some flour “semolina” for the rolling and dusting
pinch of salt
Pile flour in a little mountain on your wooden kitchen table
Make a hole in the middle, quite deep
Put in your eggs
Break the yokes with a fork, in the hole, and beat lightly
Pull in the flour little by little and mix with fingers till it is absorbed
When it is all nicely blended, knead (like bread) for 15 minutes till smooth and a bit springy
Let this rest, covered with a damp towel or some wrap of plastic, for half an hour in a cool place (by then it should be molto elastico)
Now you will sprinkle your table with some semolina flour.
You will take your rolling pin which must be of wood and as long as from the centre of your chest to the tip of your fingers, more or less.
You will roll the dough out, until it is as thin as a piece of paper – yes! – with an action that presses as you roll away, and releases as you roll back towards yourself, turning the dough by one quarter every few minutes, as you roll.
Try to make it become an oblong, as you roll.
Then make it into a “double roll” as in the picture I have made for you below, and cut it as I have shown in my drawing, dust each piece with semolina, and let it dry.
You can store your fresh pasta in a glass jar if you want, but why? It is better to cook right away, in a very large pot of boiling water with much salt, for just a short time until it is barely al dente