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Charred Scallion and Spring Pea Tagliatelle (From Scratch!)

Written by: Shawn Laughlin

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Inspired by a recent trip to Chianti, Shawn shares an easy recipe for Tagliatelle with bright Spring flavors.

Part of the magic of Italy, I think, is that it's so incredibly welcoming- and how could it not be? In a culture where food, wine, and family is so central to every day, where agriculture dominates the landscape the instant you leave the cities, it makes it easy for even a first-time visitor to feel instantly at home. Here, gathering around the table is an intuitive art form, and pasta is a constant theme that runs through it all.


Pasta is a simple food, almost as basic as it gets- flour and water, and sometimes the addition of an egg or a few herbs. Uncomplicated, inexpensive ingredients, and truly not hard to make. Over the years, the variations in form and technique have multiplied, but the basic taste remains pretty unchanged.


On our last trip to Tuscany we were invited to share a meal at the home of some friends who've lived in a marvelous old farmhouse amidst the vineyards for decades. Virna was eager to make sure that we left that night knowing how real Italians make pasta- (hint: a pasta maker with a motor to cut the perfect tagliatelle) so she gave us each an apron and an egg, some flour and some basic instructions to get started.


Only a few tips to share, because it's truly that easy. Once the dough begins to come together (it's sticky and messy, but keep going), knead it with the heel of your hand until it's "soft as a baby's bottom", smooth, and a finger leaves a small dimple which bounces back. Then, do give it 30 minutes to rest, wrapped in plastic wrap, to let the gluten strands relax.


Naturally, we imagined our Tagliatelle to be truly extraordinary, so I'm sharing that here now. Crank up Andrea Bocelli, grab a glass of Chianti Classico, and you'll be right there with us in that pretty old farmhouse in the hills of Chianti.

Tagliatelle from Scratch

Tagliatelle

Makes 1 large serving - multiply as needed


Ingredients:

1 egg

1/2 cup semolina flour


Method:

  1. Pour the flour onto your work surface and make a reservoir in the center for the egg. Crack the egg into the flour.
  2. Combine with your hands, continuing to work it until it comes together into a loose dough.
  3. Work the dough by pushing it away from you with the heel of your hand and then pulling it back in on itself. Continue this process until the dough is "as soft as a baby's bottom" - about 5-10 minutes. Wrap the ball of dough in plastic and let rest for 30 min.
  4. I used a pasta machine (a Marcato Atlas), but this pasta can also be hand rolled using a pin to desired thickness (about 1/4 inch) and cut with a sharp knife. If using the pasta machine, follow these steps: roll the pasta at number "0" ten times, then at numbers 1, 2 and 3 two times each. To finish, roll at numbers 4 and 5 one time each, and then cut using the tagliatelle setting (your pasta goes through the machine 18 times before it's ready to cut).
  5. Last, toss your freshly cut pasta in a little semolina flour to make sure it doesn't stick to itself while you wait for the pasta water to boil!
Fresh tagliatelle pasta on a marble countertop.

Tagliatelle is one of the most versatile pastas you can make - it's has the perfect bite to stand up to strong sauces like ragu or arrabbiata, but it also has a smooth texture that lets it stand on its own with a few seasonal ingredients. For this particular meal, I went the latter route: tagliatelle with a few fresh (and frozen!) veggies along with creamy créme fraîche come together to make a light spring lunch that was as easy as it was delicious. 

Charred Scallion and Spring Pea Pasta

Adapted from Hana Asbrink/NYT Cooking


Ingredients:

  • Kosher Salt and black pepper
  • 1 bunch scallions, ends trimmed
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • Your scratch-made tagliatelle
  • 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan
  • 1/4 cup créme fraîche
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest (about half a lemon)
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas

Method:

  1. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Slice 1 scallion on the diagonal for garnish. Set aside. Cut remaining scallions into 1/2-inch-long pieces.
  3. In a cast-iron skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add the scallions and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until scallions soften and char in some spots, about 8 minutes. Set aside.
  4. To your boiling water, add your pasta and cook to al dente (about 1 min). Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water.
  5. When pasta is done, add peas to the water and then shut off heat. Drain both together in a colander and prepare the sauce: in a large bowl, combine the parmesan, créme fraîche and lemon zest, using the reserved pasta water as needed to loosen. Add in your pasta, peas and charred scallions.
  6. Serve immediately, garnish with parmesan and fresh scallions.

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Caskata founder Shawn Laughlin

Shawn Laughlin

Designer, passionate home cook, enthusiastic entertainer, and the founder of Caskata.

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