How to make pasta from scratch with Chef Claudio Del Principe

Claudio Del Principe or commonly known as the Anonyme Köche is a freelance copy writer, an independent food writer, and a passionate food blogger.

Rather than editing our interview in the third person, I will keep it to the first as I want you to hear Claudio’s words directly from him.

“You know for me cooking is a universal language just like music, you don’t need words to understand when it’s good. On the other hand, words are also something you put in your mouth, they come to your ears, your eyes, and eventually to your mind. That’s why I like to choose my words wisely and make them sound nice.

I could watch those elderly Italian seniore for hours. Watch them handle the dough, shape the pasta with their hands so gently, so quickly. My goal is to get so confident that I could make  the pasta with my eyes closed. I know so many Italians who love cooking but when asked they admit to have never cooked home made pasta. Now that is shocking. Who will teach the next generation? Who will keep the traditional skills alive? I am certainly going to teach my children to make the simplest, the most delicious pasta by themselves.

When you make pasta you don’t want to use a machine. Machine is something that helps you get past something that is annoying, but since when kneading pasta became something annoying? It’s one of the most sensual kitchen work that I can imagine.
Cooking and enjoying food is a whole experience, it’s not just tasting but also a feeling. Cooking and making pasta is almost like making music or playing music. It touches all of your senses. In my latest cookbook I included not only recipes but also memories of the Italy I know. And along with those memories comes music and how you felt when you had your beautiful perfect summer with the perfect music, the perfect dish and the perfect ambience. It’s just pure heaven when it all comes together!

You too can make your own pasta, Spaghetti alla Chitarra or Tagliatelle al Ragú di Salciccie al Finocchio! All you have to do is read and practice the recipes below!

Thank you Cesar Martins for the amazing pictures!

Recipes:

Fresh Pasta

  • 4 fresh eggs
  • 400 grams durum wheat flour (semolina)
  • Place the flour on a pastry board and spread it out in a circle, making a well in the middle.
  • Break the eggs into the well and start whisking them with a fork. Then start incorporating the flour from the walls of your well.
  • Knead by hands for a few minutes until smooth. Cover and let it rest 30 minutes at room temperature.
  • Roll the dough out (about 2 mm) onto the rolling-pin, cut along the rolling-pin to get even pasta strips.
  • Flower the pasta strips, place one strip on the chitarra and press it through with the rolling-pin.
  • Loosen and flour the spaghetti, form them to a nest and let them rest on a floured surface.

Spaghetti alla Chitarra with Artichokes, Peas and Mint

Ingredients for sauce:

  • 16 baby artichokes
  • 400 grams fresh peas
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Fresh mint
  • Fresh Parsley
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Dry white wine
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

How-to:

  • Trim the artichokes and cut them into four.
  • Heat a generous amount of olive oil in a large tossing pan and flavor it with the crushed garlic clove and the bay leave.
  • Add the artichokes and sauté for a few minutes until colored.
  • Add a dash of white wine, a dash of water. Cover it and let it simmer for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Peal the peas.
  • Chop finely a shallot and sweat it in butter until translucent.
  • Add the peas and a dash of water, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Chop mint and parsley.
  • Cook pasta for 2 minutes in boiling salt water. Put pasta directly from the water into the tossing pan with the artichokes.
  • Add the peas and the freshly chopped herbs. Combine over middle high heat. Adding olive oil and pasta water to keep them smooth.
  • Arrange spaghetti on plates and add more chopped herbs and olive oil.

Tagliatelle al ragù di salsiccie al finocchio

Ingredients for sauce:

  • 4 fennel salsiccia
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 300 ml sieved tomatoes (passata)
  • Dry white wine
  • 1 glass of milk
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

How-to:

  • Brown the meat in a medium hot pan with some olive oil. Do it gently. Slowly. The meat will release water and fat. Stir occasionally. When all the liquid has evaporated, you will hear a sizzling. Keep stirring until all the bits are browned. Don’t let it burn. This will take easily 20 minutes.
  • Remove the meat and keep it aside on a plate.
  • Add more olive oil, the carrot, celery and onion and let it sweat until soft without browning it. Season with salt.
  • Return the meat to the pan, add a glass of wine and let it cook gently without covering.
  • When the wine has reduced, add the tomato paste and a splash or two of water. Cover and cook slowly until you have a thick, glossy, tasty ragú. The longer you cook it, the tastier it will be (at least two hours). If the liquid reduces too quickly, add water and continue cooking.
  • At the end, add a glass of milk and let it reduce for 15 minutes.
  • Cook pasta for 2 minutes in boiling salt water. Put pasta directly from the water into a tossing pan with some ragù. Combine over middle high heat. Adding more and more ragù until the tagliatelle are evenly coated.
  • Serve with grated parmesan.

Buon Appetito!!

 

 

 

 
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