Food & Drink Magazine

Handmade Tagliolini with Mushrooms

By Paolo @quatrofromaggio
Handmade Tagliolini with Mushrooms
Most Italians would be perfectly happy to eat pasta every day, and some probably do. Everyday pasta is normally dried durum pasta, delicious when of good quality and properly cooked, and convenient as it can be stored for months in the cupboard. Fresh pasta, on the other hand, is generally regarded as more sophisticated, and it's more likely to be found on restaurants' menus. This recipe describes how to make 'tagliolini' from scratch without a pasta machine, and then serve them with a simple mushroom sauce. 'Tagliolini' are a kind of 'tagliatelle', and they are similarly named from the verb 'tagliare', to cut.
Fresh pasta has a different texture and flavor than dried pasta also because of the different ingredients. Eggs are frequently added (most fresh pasta is labeled: 'pasta all'uovo'), and all-purpose flour may be used instead of durum wheat flour, especially when fresh pasta is made by hand (durum flour would be harder to process because of the longer gluten strands that it forms).
Making fresh tagliolini (2 servings)
Handmade Tagliolini with Mushrooms
- Gather one scant cup of flour, 1 egg, and 1/16 of a teaspoon of salt (1).
- Using your hands, mix the ingredients together (2).
- Add just enough warm water (2 o 3 teaspoons) to form a compact ball. Kneed for a couple of minutes (3).
- Have the dough rest, covered in plastic wrap, for at least 30 minutes (possibly longer, up to 1 or 2 hours) at room temperature. Since the dough is unleavened, it won't rise - the resting time is necessary to allow the gluten to relax, making the dough slightly less elastic and easier to handle.
- Unwrap the dough and proceed to roll and cut the tagliolini as shown in the video:

Note: The traditional technique illustrated makes use of the rolling pin to stretch the dough, as opposed than to just press it. This process takes time to master, but it's easy when making a small batch of noodles. Preparations like ravioli and tortellini are a lot harder to do by hand because a thinner dough is required.
Making mushroom sauce (2 servings)
Handmade Tagliolini with Mushrooms
- Roast 2 cloves of garlic (each cut in 2 or 3 pieces) in olive oil at medium heat (a) until golden.
- Add 5 or 6 medium-sized crimini mushrooms (sliced). Roast them until they soften and start to release some liquid (b).
- Remove the garlic and add 1/2 cup of cream. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for a few minutes (c).
Completing the dish
- Boil the pasta in plenty of salty water for 3 minutes (see the Cooking Pasta 101 article for more info).
- When the pasta is ready, drain it quickly and then toss it in the pan with the mushroom sauce. Mix gently.
- Serve in warmed up bowls, sprinkled with Parmesan (freshly grated), some fresh parsley (minced), and black pepper.

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