Punk Domestics in Italy 2015: Making Pasta | Punk Domestics

Punk Domestics in Italy 2015: Making Pasta

One of the highlights of our trips to Italy is making hand-rolled pasta with Sandra, the sfoglina, and nonna Fernanda. Fresh pasta is pure alchemy; pasta and eggs converge to become a silky, springy dough. In Italy, the egg yolks are much richer in color than in the states; in fact, the Italian word for egg yolk is il rosso, or the red. Rolling the dough by hand, and especially on a wooden surface, gives the noodles a better texture, that holds on to sauces better. We started out making tortellini, tiny stuffed pasta filled with ricotta. The dough is cut into squares, and is then wrapped around tiny dollops of filling. (Hey, we're going again this year. Want to join us? Of course you do. Click here for more info.)

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Of course, the dough can simply be cut into flat noodles, like the classic tagliatelle. Even so, there's some crafty technique to making a perfect nido, or nest, of the noodles. 

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We also made strozzapreti, or "priest-stranglers." This dough contains less egg. The noodles are twisted between the palms, creating a gnarled texture that grabs sauces. 

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Lastly, we made the local specialty, passatelli. Instead of a rolled dough, this is more like a dense batter, made from bread crumbs, egg, flour, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and nutmeg, that is pressed through a ricer directly into broth. They're really more like dumplings than pasta, but they are extremely delicious. 

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