Tagliatelle with Tomato Sauce.
The quantity of flour for tagliatelle is for one hungry person so if making for 3 use 300g flour and 3 eggs, it’s not rocket science.
This so simple yet astonishingly wonderful bowlful is made with only a handful of fairly basic ingredients.
100g ‘OO’ flour
1 whole egg, preferably an Italian one, they have more fiery orange coloured yolks, your pasta with have a golden glow.
Semolina powder for dusting.
Tomatoes; fresh sweet cherry ones, San Marzano, jars of fresh preserved toms, tinned either whole plum or pulped.
Garlic – optional.
Chillies – optional.
Extra virgin olive oil.
Salt and pepper.
Fresh basil to garnish.
Let’s get cracking……
Decide, are you making the dough by hand or in a machine.
Make a mound with your flour. In the middle make a hole about the diameter of your clenched knuckles. Break the egg into the hole. Gently bring flour into the centre, mixing with the egg. Now, work with you hands until the flour has absorbed the egg. You want to knead your dough until it has the texture of plasticine. Not wet but not too dry. Knead it for at least 5 minutes. When it’s ready an indent from your finger will spring back quite quickly. Roll into a ball and wrap in clingfilm. Set aside in your fridge for 30 minutes/hour to rest.
Pop your flour and egg in the bowl, turn on, slowly at first but increase speed a little as it mixes. Once your dough is mixed remove it from the bowl and knead and store as above.
Now your sauce is on the go take your rested dough from the fridge. Cut into 3 pieces, put 2 of them back in the cling film. Flatten your dough and put through a pasta roller. Start at the widest open setting, working your way down to a thickness you like. At each setting put the dough through twice before going down to the next thinness level. Lay your pasta sheet on a board/tray dusted with semolina, spread a little semolina on top and cover with a tea towel as you roll the next sheet. As you roll each sheet, don’t forget to dust with semolina, this will prevent the sheets sticking together.
If you have a tagliatelle cutter attachment for your pasta machine then pass your sheets through, if not use a pasta/pastry wheel cutter, collecting the tagliatelle and hanging on a clothes horse, pasta dryer or store in a loose twisted pile dusted with semolina.
Sugo, whilst your pasta dough rests.
In a heavy bottomed pot gently warm some olive oil. Add as much chopped garlic and chilli as you like, if using. Once the garlic softens add your tomatoes, stir well. Season, stir again, leave to gently simmer. Add a little additional olive oil, stir. Taste, it should be ready. This should take about 10 minutes to cook.
Bring a big pan of water to the boil, add a good wallop of salt. Gently drop your tagliatelle into the water, keep it at a rolling boil. If you cook it before its dried this should take about 2 minutes, add a tablespoon of the pasta water to your sauce.
Drain the pasta, tip into the sauce pot and toss. Not you, the pasta.
Serve in a deep bowl with some basil (or oregano) leaves, black pepper and freshly grated Parmigiano.