A friend once said
I love Italian food because is honest. The recipes contain a few ingredients, so only ingredients of very good quality can give you a delicious dish.
Tagliatelle di grano duro e castagne con sugo di funghi
Tagliatelle of durum wheat and chestnut with mushroom sauce
250 g twice milled semolina of durum wheat Senatore Cappelli (or Saragolla)
(or another semolina of durum wheat)
250 g of chestnut flour
250 - 260 g water
Pour the two kinds of flour into a bowl, mix and make a well in the centre of the flour. Add the water in the well, then use a spoon to move the flour into the water, little by little. When the dough becomes solid, continue to work it gently using your hands until it becomes smooth - it will take around 15 - 20 min. The dough for pasta feels harder than the one of bread or pizza, because it contains less water. When you think it is ready, wrap it with a piece of plastic foil and let it rest for 30 - 60 min at room temperature.
After resting, the dough will be softer and more elastic. Take half of the dough, work it gently with your hands for a few second, then sprinkle some flour on it and stretch it with a rolling pin. To stretch it further you can still use a rolling pin, or you can use a pasta machine. Remember to sprinkle flour whenever the dough feels sticky. The right thickness for tagliatelle is less than 1 mm, but the dough should not be see-through (like in the case of dough for Lasagne). Be aware that during cooking the thickness will increase slightly and that the chestnut flour does not contain gluten, so the dough is more prone to break. At this point you need to cut the dough in stripes, either with a knife or with the help of the special tool of a pasta machine. Sprinkle some flour on the stripes and let them dry for a few minutes, then group them in nidi (small nests) and cover them with a table cloth. Repeat the operations with the rest of the dough.
some of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 bottle of tomato sauce from Datterino
(or another tomato sauce)
2 pieces of celery (or some fennel)
some dry forest mushrooms
few pinches of fine salt
2,5 tablespoons of coarse salt
Wash the dry mushrooms and soak them in water for 2 - 3 hours.
Peel the onion and the carrots, then wash the onion, the carrots and the celery (or the fennel). Chop them into fine pieces. Pour a bit of extra virgin olive oil in a pot and warm it up with medium heat. When the oil is warm, add the pieces of onion, carrot and celery (or fennel). Make the vegetables sizzle for a few seconds while stirring with a spoon. Then take the heat down, add the mushrooms and cook for a few min while stirring with the spoon. At this point add the tomato sauce, a few pinches of fine salt and cook for half an hour. If the sauce seems too liquid, let it cook for a while without the lid; when the sauce has the right texture, continue with the lid.
Boil 5 L of water (1 L for every 100 g of pasta), add two and a half tablespoons of coarse salt and mix with a spoon. Place the nidi, one by one, in the boiling water and stir gently with a fork. Take aside a glass of the water in which the pasta is boiling, you will need it later when you add the sauce. Fresh pasta will take only a few minutes to cook, so taste it soon and regulate the cooking time accordingly! Italians sieve pasta after tasting and feeling that it has the right texture, the so called scolare a sentimento. When the texture is right, i.e. al dente, sieve the water, put the Tagliatelle back inside the pot, add a bit of extra virgin olive oil and mix gently. Now you can pour the sauce and eventually a bit of the water from the boiling pasta: the mixing needs to feel smooth and the pasta needs to sound "smoochy".
Serve on the plates, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and finally sprinkle with abundant parsley.
For additional tips during the preparation take a look at the pictures and videos.