Pasta Party

Pasta Dough Volcano

In honor of my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary, my family is going to Due Papaveri! Troy and I worked at this magnificent bed and breakfast three years ago, and vowed to come back with our family. Now is the time.

Below is one of our original posts from a pasta party with Charlotte–one of the things we plan to do this week. My nieces are going to love it. So exciting.

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Get ready, this is a meaty post. Today is a pasta making class at Due Papaveri.

The class begins by making the dough. For this particular class, Charlotte has us make a lot of pasta. With 12 helpers, we prepare enough pasta for 30 people (3 kilos of flour, 30 eggs). There will be plenty of leftovers for the restaurant to have on hand.

For your reference, we will post Charlotte’s dough recipe on the recipe tab in the coming days. We start with flour, milk and eggs. She has the class arrange volcano-like flour piles and then pop the eggs in the middle. Mix together then knead the dough.

Now the class cuts the dough into sections and puts it into plastic bags to keep it moist (even as we are about to use it). This is important because once the dough dries out it is unusable.

Today, we are making six kinds of pasta. In Italy, each type of pasta has a specific shape, filling and sauce. No mixing and matching here, oh no.

We run hunks of dough (about the size of a fist) through the pasta machine 5-7 times, each time making the dough thinner by moving the machine dial to a smaller setting. Once the dough is very thin and long (as shown in Troy’s pic below) it is ready to cut.

Roll That Dough

This Spur Is Not For Horses

Using a zigzag pasta cutter, cut the pasta into specific sizes, depending on the type to be made (more detail below). Fill with ingredients, shape the pasta and blanch in salted water or broth for 30 seconds (for even cooking).

Next lay out to dry on cloths. Now it is ready to cook or freeze.

Hot Off The Press

Check out the photo below to see each type of pasta beginning with the Tortellacci at “eleven o’clock”. This short list will name them in clockwise order.

Raw Pasta Sampler Platter

SHORT LIST
1. Tortellacci
2. Tortelloni
3. Tortellini
4. Capello
5. Ravioli
6. Rosette

Below is a rundown of the six types of pasta and their accompanying fillings and sauces.

Tortellacci
Filling: Shrimp, crab, ricotta, wild fennel
Sauce: Cream, lemon, onions, white fennel, white wine

Finished Tortellacci

Tortellacci, tortelloni and tortellini are all made into the same shape, but they are different sizes. Tortellacci is the largest, tortelloni is the mid-sized and tortellini is the smallest size.

This shape takes some practice to perfect and is made by cutting a square of dough and putting filling in the center. Fold one corner of the square over the filling to reach the opposite corner to make a triangle. Now take the bottom corners of the traingle and wrap them around your finger(s) so that they meet each other. Press these ends together, leaving a hole in the middle where your finger was. For tortellacci – wrap the bottom corners around two fingers, for tortelloni – one finger and tortellini – a pinky.

Charlotte’s tortellacci recipe is one-of-a-kind and is highly requested by her customers. The flavors meld incredibly well. I’m not a huge fan of seafood filled pasta, but these flavors are bright and fresh. The lemon and wine are the strongest flavors and the seafood takes a back seat which I like. The fennel adds a nice zing and the cream gives the sauce body.

Tortelloni
Filling: Spinach and ricotta
Sauce: Butter and sage, shaved Parmigiano Reggiano

Yummy Tortelloni Interior

This rendition of tortelloni is classic Italian. I absolutely love this type of pasta. It sends me.

Capello di Prete
Filling: Mortadella di Bologna, ricotta and Parmigiano Reggiano
Sauce: Gorgonzola sauce

These square pouches are fun to make and hold a nice amount of filling. Cut the dough in a square, bring all corners together at the top and pinch the sides together. These treasures are decadent.

Finished Tortelloni & Capello

Tortellini
Filling: Mortadella di Bologna, pork, ham and Parmigiano Reggiano
Sauce: Panna di Cucina, finely chopped herb mixture (sage, basil, thyme)

Our Favorite, Tortellini

Mortadella is a celebrated pork sausage made with a 7/3 ratio of meat/fat and has been around for over 500 years. It is made with finely ground pork, salt, peppercorns, coriander, anise, pistachios and wine. Occasionally Mortadella gets a bad rap, but not this one. It may be the setting, but this is the best sausage I have ever tasted.

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this pasta! For me, this is by far the best of the night—which is saying a lot. I’m shocked at my affinity for this pasta because sausage is not usually my thing. It is a different story here in Italy, considering the meats are high quality, local and made from methods that have been perfected over generations.

Charlotte gives me a taste of this filling straight, and I’m blown away. It fills my mouth with exquisitely complex flavors that linger. I want more. Coated with Italian cream and fresh herbs (Panna di Cucina is an Italian cream that can be cooked at a high temperature), these tiny tortellini pouches burst with flavor. This will make the recipe tab! Check back to make it for yourself.

Rosette (Rose shaped pasta)
Filling: Prosciutto and Fontina cheese with a dash of nutmeg
Sauce: Béchamel with shaved Parmigiano Reggiano

Finished Tortellini & Rosette

This pasta is very traditional for this area. It is bubbling with melted cheese and salty prosciutto. It is so interesting and tasty that I requested the recipe. Make it yourself for a treat from Modena.

Ravioli di Truffula
Filling: Potatoes mashed with olive oil and truffle salt
Sauce: Shredded pecorino cheese and a dusting of truffle salt

These sun shaped pasta pillows smell amazing. Truffle, yes please. I happen to prefer mushroom filling with truffle, but truffle anything is delish.

Finished Ravioli

Thank you Charlotte. What an amazing experience. We had a blast and enjoyed every bite. Recipes for the dough, Rosette and Tortellini (our best for the day) will be posted in the coming days. Buon Appetito!

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