Dear Tracie B: after you, Mrs. Judy P, and Mrs. Martha Jane B, there is another woman whose food I love. Yes, it’s true. And as much as I relish your fried chicken and your southern ragù (and the huevos rancheros you made me on Valentine’s), and as much as I love my mom’s Caesar salad and her meatloaf (and her Yorkshire puddin’), and as much as I love your mom’s chili dogs and breakfast loaf (and her tuna fish salad with hard-boiled eggs), and as much as I miss the Jaynes Burger back in sunny San Diego, there is another lady who holds a top spot in my heart. Her name is Signora Corrado and she lives in Bologna. And every week she makes fresh pasta for her husband and her son (one of my dearest and oldest friends, Corradino “Dindo” Corrado). Yes, it’s true: I fell in love with a Southern Belle and guagliona named Tracie B but my Yankee heart still hankers for the tagliatelle of my university days when I would hop a train from Padua and head to Bologna to play music at the legendary Casalone, and hang out with my buds Puddu and Dindo.
Here’s a step-by-step “how to make fresh pasta” by Mrs. Corrado herself. I hold these tagliatelle to be self-evident!
Make a well with flour and break the eggs into the well. (A lot of folks might add salt here, but Signora Corrado says to season the pasta only with the generous salt added to the cooking water; see Tracie B’s post on seasoning the cooking water.)
Mix the eggs into the flour using two forks.
Work the dough well with your hands (this is the most labor intensive part but it’s the most important). Most people say that you know its ready when its surface feels like a baby’s bottom.
Cover and let the pasta rest in a cool, dry place for at least 30 minutes.
Work the dough again with your hands, adding a little more flour.
Roll the dough out to the desired thickness.
Note above the length of her rolling pin. The length is important to achieve even consistency.
Fold the pasta over itself, making a “book” about 3 inches in widgth
Slice the tagliatelle with the desired width. The name taglatelle comes from the Italian tagliare, to cut.
Gently separate the tagliatelle.
Gather them into little bunches and let them dry all morning or afternoon on a floured pasta board.
Serve with your favorite sauce. Those are garganelli to the left, but you’ll have to check out my guest post at My Life Italian for those.
Thanks, Dindo, for sending these photos!