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Cooking, Baking and Painting in Italia

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Today I cooked pasta with my mother's ragù (duck's stomachs and hearts) it was SEVERELY delicious. This type of pasta where I live is called lasagnette, in other places it's called tagliatelle or fettuccine or other names. 20151115_130725.thumb.jpg.b2d1e75c7069d0 I am proud to show you it because I had to learn how to do it the hard way, making lots of mistakes.  It was a staple of my grandmother kitchen but she didn't have the time to teach me so I had to learn trying to remember her moves and comparing them to you tube vids. This this the dose for 6 people or more. I measured and sifted 400gr of medium strength flour, added a pinch of salt (only a pinch cause it will be cooked in salted water) and put it on a wooden surface like this (you can also see a little unhelpful helping hand).20151115_111952.thumb.jpg.7774a716910036 In the middle I put 4 eggs. 20151115_112158.thumb.jpg.8a9e9aa49ae8bf I beat the eggs to mix yolks and albumens as much as possible.  20151115_112402.thumb.jpg.9ba78d893931ceThen I slowly started to add the flour eroding the sides with the fork and letting it slowly be absorbed by the eggs. 20151115_112753.thumb.jpg.f064020beb38d4When fork became unuseful I started to work it with the hands and added a tablespoon of extra vergin olive oil.20151115_112954.thumb.jpg.a6bb81eff528e3  I kept kneading for some minutes 20151115_113722.thumb.jpg.29070b03860da9 adding a pinch of flour if the dough started to stick, folding20151115_114007.thumb.jpg.ee6b961e9373cd and pressing 20151115_114000.thumb.jpg.2faca48cd831e7 until the knead became soft and smooth as baby's skin and it didn't stick. 20151115_114512.thumb.jpg.d66ad7195e78d1 It's not easy to describe the perfect consistence, it shouldn't be sticky and it should be soft but not too soft, only experience tells you. When it was ready I put it in a plastic bag to rest for 30 minutes (even better if an hour, but 30 mins is enough). After half an hour I started to flatten it with a very long mattarello that's called mescola. 20151115_122608.thumb.jpg.efc14023ef769e To prevent stickiness I scattered some flour. I used a roughly woven tablecloth that I keep for this sole purpose. 20151115_123356.thumb.jpg.23d73a0d8a3203With the mescola you can only push forward and to turn the pasta to work on the other sides I rolled it around the mescola and unrolled in the new position20151115_123431.thumb.jpg.36116c15b43238 .  I kept the dough a bit too soft because it's quicker to flatten, but it's also stickier and easily wrinkly so I wouldn't recommend it for the first times. At the end you should be able to see your hand through the pasta, the layer should be somewhere between a 1 mm and 0,5 mm.20151115_125433.thumb.jpg.8c672aa51e0c7b  Then I scattered some flour on the whole surface, better not to spare the flour or you'll regret it, especially if you kept the dough very soft. 20151115_125721.thumb.jpg.8013a5167efeda Then I started to fold both sides of the pasta. 20151115_125841.thumb.jpg.8d5980b142c718 When I obtained 2 rolls I scattered flour on them too and folded one over the other so I had only one roll20151115_125931.thumb.jpg.634c7682af2979. Then I cut the lasagnette trying to make them homogeneous. 20151115_130128.thumb.jpg.cfd56577744431Once cut I unfolded them taking them from the middle. 20151115_130128.thumb.jpg.cfd56577744431 To make transportation easier I very gently folded them on a big plate. 20151115_131025.thumb.jpg.9a804c0439609e I threw them in salted boiling water (to which I added some olive oil to prevent sticking) stirring gently to keep them from sticking together. When water started boiling again I waited 30 seconds and poured cold water to stop cooking and drained. Dressed with olive oil and my mother's special duck ragù. It was really yummy and of course I totally forgot to take pics. I often do pasta in great quantities and freeze it or dry it so Iit's ready for use when I need. BTW you can use a kitchen robot for kneading and another little machine for flattening, it will save time and work, but personally I prefer this way because the texture obtained with this method is impossible to obtain with a machine and texture is important because it makes sauce stick to the pasta. I hope this explanation will be useful. I surely forgot to clarify something so ask me anything.


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I started giggling when I watched the "little helping hand" creeping closer and closer.  (And then it got all floury!!!)

In American English, mattarello would be "rolling pin".  It is very long!  Mr. Spoon thinks you used a flag pole.

Duck parts is not a familiar ingredient to me.  Actually, duck in general is a fairly new ingredient to me.

I make the dough by hand, but we do use a roller and cutter (hand operated.)  

Fresh pasta is dramatically, no, SEVERELY, better than dried store bought pasta.  :D


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I started giggling when I watched the "little helping hand" creeping closer and closer.  (And then it got all floury!!!)

In American English, mattarello would be "rolling pin".  It is very long!  Mr. Spoon thinks you used a flag pole.

Duck parts is not a familiar ingredient to me.  Actually, duck in general is a fairly new ingredient to me.

I make the dough by hand, but we do use a roller and cutter (hand operated.)  

Fresh pasta is dramatically, no, SEVERELY, better than dried store bought pasta.  :D


 She had good time playing with the dough, and even better stealing it to eat (and I can't even scold her in good conscience, I did the very same when I was a child) and then she licked her hands clean like a cat :pb_lol:.

A flag pole indeed :pb_lol:, I needed every inch of it though.

Duck here is considered a delicacy, one of the most traditional and beloved foods in this part of Veneto is Bigoli (a type of pasta that I can't do because I don't have the necessary tool, I should really "hint" about it as a present for Christmas from Mr LPG) with duck ragù, exquisite. Rereading the post I see I forgot about a lot of details, next time I'll have to do better.

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This looks so good.  Where I went to college was right in the heart of Little Italy in New York (the original little Italy, not the one now).  I used to go to the fresh noodle store every other week to buy a pound or two of "tagliatelle" (I'll be honest, I just googled how to spell that word, and I am sure I still don't pronounce it right, either).  But I just love the smell of that fresh noodle store, and the taste of the fresh  noodles of course!! I should have to try to make this myself one day... 

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