Following our summer in Italy, we have been obsess with fresh pasta making. I have always been intimidated by fresh pasta but then again, I’ve always been intimidated by anything that involves dough and baking. But my husband grew up in a household where baking and cooking is a serious business – his mom was a chef. Although he didn’t get his mom’s cooking skills (that’s where I come in), we discovered that he is a natural baker! So now, we share the kitchen where he’s in charge of the elements requiring baking, kneading, and exact measurements while I take charge of the cooking part.
Our first take on fresh pasta was to try to recreate one of our favorite pasta dishes during our trip: tagliatelle with stracciatella di burrata and guanciale.
Here’s how we recreated this dish (and our take on fresh pasta).
For the tagliatelle (good for 4-5 persons – we usually cook just quarter of the pasta and freeze the rest)
- 200g white flour/all purpose flour
- 100g semola flour
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 tsp of olive oil
- Pinch of fine salt (optional – most recipes do not add salt in their pasta dough but we like to add a pinch of salt if we’re not using a sauce for the pasta)
For the dish:
- 250g guanciale (curred pork cheeks), cut into cubes
- 2 small Burrata (burrata varies in sizes, but the ones we used per serving, 1 small ball of burrata was about 150g)
- Sift the white flour on our work top (or you can also use a large bowl for this) then add the semolina flour (we didn’t feel the need to sift the semola flour) and a pinch of salt. Mix well.
- Create a hole in the middle of your dry ingredients, creating something like a volcano.
- Add the eggs and olive oil, carefully beat the eggs and oil with a fork.
- Start mixing in the flour starting with the inner surface your volcano, until the dough starts to form.
- Once you have a dough, knead it for at least 5 minutes or once it is smooth and elastic. (tip: If the dough is getting dry, dip a hand on a luke warm water and work on your dough. This moistens the dough.)
- Wrap your dough in plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Cut the dough into 4 and press each piece flat. Run the dough in the pasta machine, using the widest setting. If you are doing this manually, use a rolling pin to flatten the dough thinly and in an oblong shape.
- Sprinkle the pasta sheets with semola flour and hung them up to dry for 20 minutes.
- Run the sheets in the pasta machine, using the tagliatelle cut or if cutting manually, cut the sheets using a sharp knife with 1/8 inch or 2-3mm thickness.
Making the dish:
- Cook the diced guanciale in medium heat (don’t add oil… let it cook in its own fat)
- While the pork is cooking, add a quarter of your pasta in a salted boling water (freeze the rest of the pasta for other recipes). Take the pasta out of the water after 2-3 minutes or until al dente.
- Mix the cooked pasta in the skillet with the guanciale.
- Fray the burrata on the pasta bowl. Add a teaspoon of the pasta water to make the burrata cream thinner.
- Put pasta and guanciale on top of the creamed burrata. Enjoy immediately.
Fresh pasta making can be a lot of work but once you get the hang of it, you’ll realize how easy it is.
Bon appétit !