Fancy making your own pasta? Mamma Romeo gave me a lesson in making tagliatelle, one of the most instantly satisfying pasta shapes to make -no pasta machines needed here!
To serve 4
400g Tipo ’00’ flour
3 eggs (see Top tips)
1 Tip the flour into a large bowl or onto a large board, create a well in the centre and break the eggs into the well. Bring together with your fingertips or a wooden spatula, don’t be afraid – just really go for it! It will come together, once it resembles breadcrumbs, tip onto a wooden board or work surface (if you are using a bowl otherwise leave it where it is on the wooden board).
2 Knead well, as you would with a bread dough, add a little water if necessary – a couple of teaspoons at a time, keep the dough moving and turning, until it turns silky and smooth and not rough and floury, or as Mamma Romeo said, with a slap on the dough, ‘smooth like a bambino’s bottom!’
3 Flour the board, then using a large rolling pin, roll out the dough to the largest thinnest circle you can get, keep turning your circle and add more flour to prevent sticking if needed, use the rolling pin to help you lift the pasta if neccessary (if you don’t a have a huge Italian Mamma-style rolling pin, you can roll out lots of smaller pieces, your tagliatelle will just be shorter).
4 Dust a little flour over the surface of your pasta (here’s the best bit). Fold the pasta over like you would a Swiss roll, then simply cut 1cm slices from the shorter end. Gently raise and pull apart.
5 Scatter the tagliatelle over a board covered with a clean T towel, dust with a little flour and leave to rest for 15-30 mins. Cook in salted boiling water for a few minutes. Serve simply with steaming hot passata and freshly grated Parmesan.
Britalian Kitchen TOP 3 TIPS
1 Allow approx 100g flour per person, but if upping the flour for more people, Mamma Romeo’s secret is not to increase the eggs to more than 3 instead add water until you have the right consistency.
2 To avoid a sticky mess, clean your pasta board with a metal scraper instead of using water (a new wallpaper scraper works perfectly! See below).
3 If you want to make life a little easier, you can whizz the flour and eggs in a food processor to get to the breadcrumb stage in step 1.
This eco friendly wooden pastry board made from sustainable acacia wood makes a good pasta board, at 56cm long it’s not quite as big as Mamma Romeo’s but it’s big enough to get some decent pasta out of it! £23.00 from www.woolworths.co.uk
Perfect for not only cutting smaller pasta shapes but also great for cleaning down your pasta board. £1.09 from www.toolbox.co.uk
The right rolling pin
In Italy it’s a wooden rolling pin all the way but in the UK it’s a little more tricky to find a wooden rolling pin long enough, but as we have been cake crazy for a good few years polythene pins (ideal for rollling out sugar paste) are much easier to find. This 60cm one is great value at £12.52 from www.russums-shop.co.uk