Home-made egg tagliatelle | Home-made egg pasta

Home-made egg tagliatelle

Making egg tagliatelle, or any other fresh home-made egg pasta is not difficult or mysterious, and it doesn’t even take much time. The taste, however, makes it well-worth the minimal effort!

There really is nothing like a delicious plate of home-made pasta. The texture, the taste, the satisfaction of having made it yourself … no other pasta will ever taste as good as the one you’ve made yourself!

As you will see from my recipe below, this really doesn’t take much time or effort. Below, I will describe all the steps needed to make home-made egg tagliatelle, but this recipe will work for any home-made egg pasta.

For lasagne sheets, for example, simply skip the final ribbon-cutting shape with the tagliatelle-making attachment. Instead, cut the sheets to the size you need for your lasagne dish, with a knife.

For pappardelle, gently fold the sheets of pasta, then hand-cut the wide ribbons with a knife.

For tortellini and cappelleti, cut even-sized squares or circles, add the filling and shape them manually (this will require a separate blog post, where I can show you how to shape them! Coming up soon!).

A note about equipment

There are still amazingly talented Italian nonne (grandmothers) out there who manage to roll their pasta super-thin by hand. I am not a nonna yet, but I also know my limitations. Besides, why make your life harder when you an achieve a delicious (often better, unless you’re really good at spending ages rolling dough out to a perfectly even and thin layer!) result with a simple hand-operated pasta-making machine?

I bought my old Imperia pasta-maker about 30 years ago, either while I was still at Uni or just afterwards. It has served me very well over the years and, considering the ease, taste and relatively lower cost of making your own pasta vs buying it in the shops, investing in such a machine is a no-brainer. To make tagliatelle, you will need to ensure you buy one with a tagliatelle cutting attachment. This comes as standard with many models. Alternatively, you can gently fold your pasta sheets once you have rolled them out with the pasta maker, and hand-cut the ribbons that way. This is how to make pappardelle, by the way – just wider strips than tagliatelle!

A note about ingredients

Typically, egg pasta such as tagliatelle, lasagne sheets and pappardelle is made with Italian 00 flour – a very fine wheat flour. I have found, however, that when making pasta at home, I achieve a better texture (with the kind of ‘al dente’ bite you would expect of any self-respecting pasta) by using ground durum wheat semolina flour (semola rimacinata), which you can buy from most Italian Delis in-store or online. I’ve been using Divella semola rimacinata, and it has never let me down. If you want to use a wheat flour, then either buy 00 flour from a supplier of Italian ingredients, or you can substitute this with strong bread flour for the purposes of pasta-making.

Ingredients – per person

Note: I generally allow 100g of flour per person (except for my own portion of just 50g as I can’t manage bigger portions since my 2019 weight loss surgery). If you want to be more generous, and particularly if you are serving your pasta as the only course in a meal, perhaps with a light sauce, such as a simple tomato-based sauce without meat, you may want to increase this to 150g per person.

If you make more than you need (e.g. I made pasta with 100g of flour today, but will only eat half), leave the extra pasta to dry on a tea-towel, dusted with durum wheat semolina (you could use the finely-ground variety used in the dough, but I prefer to use the coarser grain that you tend to use for traditional durum wheat pasta such as spaghetti, orecchiette etc, for this purpose). Once dry, it will keep very well in an airtight container, if you can resist cooking it at the next available meal!

  • 100g semola rimacinata flour (see “a note about ingredients”, above)
  • 1 large egg (please note that humidity in the room, the particular qualities of the flour you’re using, not to mention natural differences in egg sizes, can mean that you end up having to either add a little flour, or, if the dough ends up too dry to hold its shape, a very small amount of warm water)

Method

Place the dough on a work surface (wood is best, if you have a large chopping board or wooden pasta table/board available, but you can use any kitchen worktop, if not) and make a well in the middle. Place the egg(s) into the well and begin whisking them lightly with a fork to break them up, then gradually bring in a little flour as you do. Once the mixture becomes too thick and sticky to continue with the fork, continue by hand until you have a dough.

Keep kneeding the dough for a few minutes, until it is bouncy, smooth and a little elastic, then wrap it in clingfilm and leave it to rest for at least 10 minutes – 20 to 30 minutes if you have time.

While the egg pasta dough is resting, secure your pasta maker to your work surface and attach the tagliatelle cutter attachment.

Once the dough has rested, cut off a small piece, about the size of a small fist (wrap the rest back in the clingfilm so it doesn’t dry out), flatten it out slightly by hand, then feed it through the pasta maker (see “a note about equipment”, above) on the widest roller setting. Take the resulting thick sheet of dough and fold it three ways so it becomes smaller, and feed it through the machine on the same (widest) roller setting again. Repeat the process a few times, until you have a fairly even rectangle of smooth and elastic dough to work with, then start feeding it through progressively thinner roller settings. Do not skip any settings or you’ll risk tearing the dough!

Important note: You only do the folding operation at the initial stage, when feeding the dough through the widest roller setting. After that, you feed the increasingly thin and long sheet through each roller setting ONCE only, before resetting the rollers to the next setting and feeding it through again, until you have reached the thinnest one (if you are using 00 or other wheat flour rather than durum wheat semolina rimacinata, you may want to stop at the 2nd thinnest setting instead of the thinnest).

If, at any stage, you feel the dough is sticking to the pasta-maker, coat it in a little durum wheat semolina (or semolina rimacinata).

Once you have your thin sheet of dough, you can feed this through the tagliatelle cutter part of the pasta maker to cut the ribbons. The ribbons may stick together a little, so dust them with a little durum wheat semolina or semola rimacinata as you very gently/carefully lift them and reposition them so they separate.

Either cook the fresh egg tagliatelle immediately by dropping them into generously salted (like the mediterranean sea!) boiling water, or set them aside on a tea-towel until you are ready to cook them. As the tagliatelle are fresh, they will cook very quickly, in about one minute or so! Check them by tasting one after a minute and until you are happy with the cooking stage, to avoid over-cooking them and undoing your efforts in making them in the first place. If you leave the tagliatelle to dry, they will take a little longer, but in any case, tagliatelle are a type of pasta that only ever needs a few minutes to cook.

Home-made egg tagliatelle | home-made egg pasta – Gloriously Simple, Gloriously Good!

Home-made egg tagliatelle
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Sweet Focaccia | Focaccia Dolce

Focaccia Dolce | Sweet Focaccia - whole with slice showing

This is a delicious sweet focaccia recipe from the brilliant Italian Cucchiaio d’Argento blog. We have made this a few times and have found the recipe very easy to follow, with perfect results each time, so we wanted to share and translate it for those who can’t follow the original recipe in Italian.

This is not as sweet as a cake, but sweeter than a bread. It’s delicious as a breakfast cake/bread, on its own or spread with your favourite jam or spread (why not try it with our sweet cashew butter or our home-made nutella…coming soon!).

We have followed the recipe to the letter, aside from using plain flour to replace the 00 flour, and strong white bread flour to replace the manitoba flour, as these are more commonly available (and affordable) in the UK.

Sweet focaccia in its tin, just come out of the oven.

Ingredients – for the dough

  • 400g plain white flour
  • 100g strong white bread flour
  • 120g demerara sugar
  • 7g dried yeast
  • 200ml whole milk
  • 20ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 110-130ml water
  • 1tsp sea salt

Ingredients – for the crispy top

  • extra virgin olive oil (approximately 1tbsp plus additional for greasing)
  • approx. 1tbsp water
  • demerara sugar

Method

  1. Place the two flours, the sugar, yeast, oil and lukewarm milk into the bowl of a stand mixer.
  2. Start mixing on a low setting with a K beater, drizzling in the water in a thin stream as you do this.
  3. Once all the ingredients are mixed together, swap the K beater for a dough hook and mix it for approximately 15 minutes, adding the salt towards the end. The dough will be ready once it is smooth and elastic / bouncy.
  4. Transfer the dough into a clean bowl and cover with clingfilm.
  5. Leave it to rise until it has approximately doubled (around 2 hours). We tend to place it on a shelf in the airing cupboard, but any warm, non-draughty room will be fine.
  6. Line and grease (with extra virgin olive oil) a 24cm round cake tin (we find a springform cake tin works very well for this).
  7. Once the dough has risen, transfer it into the greased, lined tin.
  8. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C fan.
  9. Use your finger tips to create dips all over the surface and to help spread the dough evenly over the surface. We found this to be quite sticky, so you may not get perfect dips, but as long as the dough is spread reasonably evenly across the cake tin and the surface is a little rough/uneven, it will work.
  10. Whisk together 1tbsp of water and extra virgin olive oil (this will turn into a thick emulsion) and brush this over the focaccia dough surface.
  11. Sprinkle the surface with a generous amount of demerara sugar.
  12. Bake the sweet focaccia in the pre-heated oven for 30-40 minutes until the surface is looking golden and a little cracked.
  13. Leave to cool in the tin for approximately 15 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely, or serve warm!

This delicious sweet focaccia will keep for a few days in an airtight container, or wrapped in clingfilm and tin foil, but the crispy topping will lose its crispiness and will go more soft and sticky after the first day. It will still be delicious!

One slice of sweet focaccia

Sweet Focaccia | Focaccia Dolce | Gloriously Simple, Gloriously Good!

Pizza

Ham and mushroom pizza

How to make Pizza from scratch

Simple Pizza recipe

Making pizza is far easier than many people think. Here is a simple recipe to make the dough and cook it with toppings of your choice.

Ingredients for the pizza dough (for one 11 inch pizza) – increase quantities for more pizzas

  • 150g plain flour (or Farina Tipo 00 if you can get it)
  • 1/2 tsp white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp dried yeast (I use Fermipan Red Dried Yeast)
  • 2tsp extra virgin olive oil (plus generous additional amounts to rub onto the dough before each rise)
  • 100ml of lukewarm water
  • a generous pinch of fine sea salt

Note: Flour and water may need adjusting up or down, depending on the humidity in the room and the specific flour you are using.  Always add water gradually to achieve the right consistency, and have additional flour to hand in case you need to add a little.

Method

You can watch the video of me making the dough for 3 pizzas here:

Place the flour into a large bowl and mix in the sea salt. Make a well in the middle and add the sugar and yeast.

Gradually add some of the water and start mixing the flour into it with a large mixing spoon, then add the oil and keep mixing the flour in from the outside of the ‘well’. Keep adding water until you have more or less mixed in all the flour and have a wet and uneven/lumpy dough. At this point, remove any dough sticking to the spoon and proceed by hand, kneeding long enough to have a soft, malleable dough that almost doesn’t stick to your hands (it needs to stick a little or it will be too dry). Add extra water or flour if needed. This process should only take you a minute or two.

Tip: I find the best way of kneeding is to pull away from you, then fold the dough over itself with your knuckles, then keep rotating the dough and repeating this action – see video above. When the dough is ready, it will be quite springy to the touch. Shape the dough into a ball (you can separate this into separate portions for each pizza later, or make separate dough balls now).

Take a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil into your hands and rub it all over the dough ball. Place the dough ball back in the bowl (or if you’ve made separate dough balls, place each one in a separate bowl) and cover with a dry cloth or clingfilm. Put the covered bowl(s) into a warm, draught-free place (I find the airing cupboard ideal) for 1.5-2 hours, until the dough ball(s) has/have roughly doubled in size.

After the dough has rested the first time:

If you still have one single dough ball for all your pizzas, place it on a floured surface (a large wooden chopping board is ideal, but a clean kitchen work surface will work equally well) and, using a dough cutter or a smooth-bladed large knife, cut it into equal portions according to the number of pizzas you are making.

If you had already split the dough into separate portions, work with each dough ball individually.

Take each portion of dough and work it by grabbing a ‘corner’ at a time and pulling away from you with your finger tips, then folding it into the centre, repeating for each ‘corner’ as you rotate the dough. See video above for demonstration of how to do this. Shape each portion into a ball and rub generously with extra virgin olive oil again. Place into a bowl and cover with a cloth or clingfilm. Leave it in a room-temperature draught-free place for 1-1.5 hours (I leave it in the kitchen at this point – if the dough is warm – e.g. from the airing cupboard – when you make the pizza, it can stick to the pizza paddle).

You’ll know it’s ready when it’s more or less doubled in size.

Pizza dough rising
Pizza dough before and after second rising

Place one dough ball onto a floured surface (e.g. wooden chopping board) and gently stretch it out to make a pizza shape (you can also start the process by moving the dough around over your knuckles – make sure you don’t wear any rings or it will tear!) – see video above. Once you have the desired shape and size and the dough is nice and thin, you can pinch around the edges to give you a slightly thicker crust.

Top with your chosen toppings – see some suggestions in the pictures below – transfer to the oven using a pizza paddle and bake in a hot pizza oven, if possible (this will only take 1-2 minutes…follow pizza oven instructions, but you’re likely to need to rotate it during cooking to ensure it cooks evenly).

Ooni Pizza oven

Tip: If you don’t have a pizza oven, I find it works better to cook it in a pan and under a grill than to bake it in a conventional oven (though if you have a pizza stone for the oven, this helps).

To cook it in a pan, place the shaped dough into a pre-heated pan or skillet that has been very lightly oiled, over a high heat. Put the toppings on when the base is already in the pan – this will start cooking the base. Then, once topped, place the pan under a very hot grill to cook the top.

Note: You can also use the dough to make Focaccia (recipe coming soon) and Calzone.

Pizza topping suggestions:

Pizza | Gloriously simple, gloriously good!