Long fresh pasta

Long fresh pasta

Pasta lunga fresca

By
From
Tuscany
Serves
6 as a starter/4 as a main
Photographer
Helen Cathcart

Long ribbons of silky fresh pasta are commonplace in Tuscany as they are in most of northern Italy. Unique to Tuscany, however, is pappardelle, the extra-wide ribbons of fresh pasta made to go with our hearty beef ragù or the Kale & Sausage Pasta Sauce. As fresh pasta is so absorbent it is better not served with watery sauces such as seafood; in this case dried pasta is the norm.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 batch Fresh pasta
‘00’ flour, for dusting
or coarse semolina, to stop the pasta sticking

Method

  1. Follow the recipe for fresh pasta. After the resting time, the pasta can be rolled out with a rolling pin or a pasta machine. To make any of the long pasta such as tagliatelle or pappardelle by hand, roll the pasta out into a rectangle using a heavy wooden rolling pin. Lightly dust the surface of the table, the pasta and the rolling pin with flour to prevent it sticking. If you use a pasta machine, flour the long strips on both sides. We tend to roll it out to a stop or two before the minimum (the finest setting on the machine), as in Tuscany ribbons of pasta such as pappardelle have a bite to them and are not as thin as in neighbouring Emilia Romagna.
  2. As a general rule when the pasta is just transparent enough that you can see your fingers through it (about 1 mm thick) it is ready. Leave the pasta for 1–2 minutes to dry out in the air. Dust the work surface and the pasta with plenty of flour again to prevent it sticking to itself. Gently fold over one short edge, making a flap of about 3 cm. Now do the same with the other short edge. Fold the edges over again and again, sprinkling flour over the surface to stop the dough sticking to itself. Stop when the folded edges meet in the middle. Cut across the folds into the desired thicknesses to make the pasta lunga, the thinnest being tagliolini and the fattest pappardelle wide. Slide a long knife underneath the centre, matching the blunt edge of the knife to where the two folded edges come together. Hold and twist the knife in the air and the pasta ribbons will fall down in cut lengths either side.
  3. When cut, pull out into individual strands and toss with coarse semolina or a little more flour. Don’t pile the pasta high but leave it in a single layer or the weight will cause it to stick together. Cook within the hour. The cooking time should be 2–3 minutes, or until al dente, in a pan of boiling salted water.
Tags:
Italy
Italian
Caldesi
Tuscany
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