Today we begin our series on pasta from the Amalfi Coast and we are starting with the newest of the three types of pasta I will be sharing with you.
Scialatielli - ribbon noodles, thicker and shorter than tagliatelle. The name originates from the Neapolitan dialect for "to tousle", as in someone's hair - "sciglià". In fact, when served up in your plate, scialatielli have a tousled look!

Scialatielli are a relatively new type of pasta, prepared and served for the first time by Chef Enrico Cosentino in the late 1960s. Cosentino was born in Amalfi, where he continues to work as consultant to the world's most important and prestigious hotels and restaurants. This pasta is delicious served with fish and seafood sauces. But scialatielli are also scrumptious when served with a delicate tomato sauce, which I will also be making today.

I will not be rolling and cutting the pasta by hand because I am a real lazybones! I am going to be using one of these:

Ingredients for 2 large servings:
1/2 cup durum wheat flour (if you can't find this then use semolina or raw cream of wheat), 1/2 all purpose flour, 1 egg, about 1 tablespoon of grated pecorino cheese, about 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, about 4 ounces milk, a pinch of salt, a pinch of freshly ground pepper, about 6 large basil leaves, washed, dried and julienned
I use a low bowl to mix in, never could do it right on the board! And it tastes just as good! Combine all dry ingredients + julienned basil, mix well. Form a well in the center of the flour mix and add the egg, oil and half of milk. Mix with a fork, You are looking for a fairly stiff dough. If it is too stiff, add more milk. If it is too wet, add a little all purpose flour. If necessary, use all of the milk. I find that the weather really influences how much flour and liquid the dough takes.

Turn the dough out onto a clean counter top or large wooden board and start to knead it. Try not to add too much flour, but you don't want it to stick to the work surface. 

Knead it for about 5 to 10 minutes.
When you have a smooth dough, flour the ball and cover it with a clean towel, and let it rest for about 15 minutes. 

I learned alot about cooking from my mom, but I also learned an important tip from my dad! Clean up as you go along. So while your dough is resting, wash up the dishes and clean up your counter. Set up your pasta machine if you have one. Otherwise, get out your rolling pin.

Now, uncover your dough, knead it a couple of times. Your dough should look more or less like this. It should be fairly stiff, smooth and should have a uniform grain inside. It will have lovely, fragrant bits of basil distributed throughout.
If you don't have a pasta machine, roll your dough out until it is about 3 mm thick. When rolling out pasta, you always start from the center and roll towards the edges. The idea is to get a big circle of dough. Which you will allow to dry for about 15 minutes before cutting.

Instead, if you are lazy, like me, you will use a pasta machine! Start on the largest thickness. I usually cut my dough into smaller pieces, roll them in flour and the put each piece through on the largest thickness 3 or 4 times. I do this with all of the pieces before moving on to the next thickness. 
On my machine, I went down to the 3rd thickness to get sheets about 3mm thick. You are not looking for as thin a sheet as you would use for tagliatelle! You are looking for a rather thick sheet. 3mm is about 1/8th of an inch.

Ok, now lightly flour your sheets of rolled out pasta and let them dry for about 15 minutes.. which will give you just enough time to make a quick, delicious tomato sauce
In a frying pan, sauté a couple of cloves of peeled garlic in a couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Don't let the garlic get too brown or your sauce will have a burnt taste and we want a light, delicate sauce! Add about 2 cups of pureed plum or San Marzano tomatoes, salt and pepper to tast, Add a sprig of fresh basil. When it comes to a boil, lower to a slow simmer and let it cook while you finish up making your scialatielli.
You will also have enough time to make a garden salad to complete your meal along with some hot crusty Italian bread!

By now your pasta is ready to cut. If you are cutting it by hand, flower the circle of pasta and roll it up lightly. Use a very sharp, long bladed knife to cut 1/4" noodles. Use one downward cut to make each noodle, do not use a sawing motion! When you are done cutting the noodles, grab about 5 at a time, shake them loose and cut them into 5 ot 6 inch lengths.
For all you lazybones out there, cut each sheet into 5 to 6 inch lengths and use the widest noodle template to cut your pasta into scialatielli.

As you cut your "scialatielli" separate them and spread them out on a floured surface so they don't stick together. 
Put a large pot of water on to boil. When it comes to a boil, salt it and put the pasta in to cook. The scialatielli will take about 3 to 4 minutes to cook.
Now, drain the pasta. Season with the fresh sauce you just made. Serve with grated pecorino or parmigiano cheese 

and.. as Julia Child would have said, had she spoken italian....BUON APPETITO!

special thanks to my son Antonio for help with photos and videos.

1 comment:

  1. bellissimo post !!! complimenti anche per la semplicità della ricetta :-)