The ultimate comfort food. Tagliatelle are a comfort to make and a comfort to eat. Nothing beats the satisfaction of rolling out the pasta by hand to a wafer thin sheet, folding it up, cutting into ribbons and hanging up to await cooking.
Last night we had the tagliatelle with tomato sauce and some sautèed courgettes, plenty of butter and parmesan. Augusta made the sauce in September when plum tomtoes are at their ripest and cheapest. She cooked them down with celery, onion, carrot and basil. Then she passed everything through the vegetable mill and portioned the sauce into plastic bags which went into the deep freeze. Traditionally such a sauce should be bottled, but sterilising jars is too much bother! Freezing works very well for us.
It’s fun to make tagliatelle by hand, and they taste better than machine made. You do however need to try a few times before they come out really well!
I make the pasta in the Magimix (purists do it by hand) with 100 gm flour and an egg per person, to which I add a splash of olive oil. Sometimes I use semola (durum wheat flour), other times I use normal flour and often I mix them. I rest the dough for 30 minutes. Then I roll it out on a large pastry board (100 to 150 gm at a time). The sheet must be very thin, transparent. This takes patience! Then I flour the sheet lightly and fold it up. Now i cut off half centimeter strips. I toss these in the air a little to open them and place them on a floured tray while I get on with the next batch.
When rolling I keep the pressure over the dough in the middle of the pin. When I have a large dinner plate size, I wrap the dough around the pin and roll. Then I hang part over the edge of the table and roll out what’s on the board. I keep one hand on the dough and roll-push with the other. It’s actually quite hard to explain in words!
A nice occupation for a rainy day like today.