Home made pasta: first (successful) attempt!

I gave ravioli a try a while ago and I must say the result was not really impressive!
Yesterday I felt inspired again, or more simply, the weather was so miserable that I felt like doing nothing else than staying at home and treat myself with some nice food and a movie.

I tried to make “sagne” a kind of pasta typical from the Abruzzo region in Italy and whose main feature is the total lack of eggs – it is in fact one of those everyday “poor dishes”, but still so incredibly tasty, not to mention the fact that making and eating them was a sort of trip down to memory lane.

All you need is some plain white flour (the version with rye flavour is also very good though), salt and water: mix all the ingredients until the dough is not too sticky anymore and you can start using a rolling pin to roll the dough out into a circle. The thickness can vary depending on your tastes, I personally prefer it a bit thicker so that when you cook it it stays more crunchy and al dente.

Once it is rolled out and you reach the preferred thickness, leave it to dry for about 1 hour (or more, it depends on how dry is the room) – make sure it is quite dry before rolling and cut it or it will just get a super messy and sticky result!

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You can now start folding it (as if you would like to make a pasta tube) and cut it into stripes – I cut mine around 1.5 cm wide. Then put it in a tray and let it rest for another 30 minutes, making sure to sprinkle some flour so that the pasta stripes do not stick to each other.

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Time to cook it and enjoy it: bring water to the boil, add salt and then the pasta. It will cook very quickly, as soon as it starts floating you can drain the water and dress the pasta (be quick, or it will stick!).

I dressed mine with some garlic and chilli tomato sauce and percorino cheese sprinkled on top, YUMMY!

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Spaghetti alla gricia recipe

Today I want to share with you one of the most famous dish of the Roman culinary tradition: pasta alla gricia.
When it was first invented it was considered a “poor” dish, which was generally prepared by shepherds which were simply using the ingredients that were easier for them to find.

It could be considered the ancestor of pasta alla amatriciana, in fact it has all the ingredients in common except for the tomato sauce (probably because pasta alla gricia was invented much earlier, when tomatoes were still unknown in Europe!).

Easy and quick to prepare but incredibly tasty.
All you need is some bacon (better if guanciale, but in case you don’t have it, bacon can do! well, sort of…), grated pecorino cheese, olive oil, pepper and of course spaghetti!

In terms of quantity, I would suggest around 70-80 gr of bacon per 100 gr of pasta. The amount of pecorino it really depends on your tastes, but the more you put, the creamer and tastier the pasta will be.

pasta griciaHow to prepare it: cut the bacon in small stripes or cubes and let it cook in a pan with some olive oil until it is crunchy and golden (once it is cook, you can throw away some of the cooking oil. I like to do so because the pasta will be less greasy!).

Boil the spaghetti and once they are ready add them to the bacon, sprinkle the pecorino and some pepper all over. Make sure spaghetti are “al dente” or they will get all sticky once you will try to mix them with bacon and pecorino.
Tip: in order to have a creamy result, add some of the pasta cooking water.

That’s all! Quick and easy as I promised.
Try it and let me know what you think! 🙂

Easy, fresh and light tagliatelle recipe

Perfect for a summer day. This recipe is easy and super quick, but the taste is still rich and awesome. I really love this kind of pasta, the only little problem is that it tends to get cold quite quickly, so make sure you serve it immediately when it is ready.

I am not going to specify the quantities for each ingredients because it really depends on the amount of pasta you are preparing.

For the sauce you will need:
a few cherry tomatoes;
a few portobello mushrooms;
olive oil;
a bit of onion finely chopped.

For the topping:
parmesan cheese;
wild rocket;
black pepper.

Pour the oil and the onion in a pan and stir fry gently for a few seconds. Then add the chopped mushrooms and when they are almost ready add the tomatoes cut in halves. Don’t overcook them or the mushrooms will turn too dark and the tomatoes will mash. You should also make sure it doesn’t get too dry or the whole dish will be just sticky and impossible to eat. Add some salt according to tastes.

In the meantime cook the tagliatelle. Drain them when they are still al dente and make sure you save part of the cooking water, because you might need it later when mixing the pasta with the sauce in case it is all too dry. Put the tagliatelle in the pan and mix together for a few second on a low heath.

Once the pasta is well mixed with the sauce, add the parmesan, pepper and finish with some rocket on the top.

Enjoy! 🙂