I’ve been back in London for a couple of days now and feeling homesick for some hearty Italian pasta. Let me tell you, this recipe for homemade tagliatelle in an Amatriciana sauce is the queen of all heartiness.
You will need:
- 100g of plain flour per person
- 1 egg per person
- pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 2/3 tablespoons of water
For the sauce (enough for 4 people):
- 1 large onion
- 200g of pancetta (or bacon lardons)
- 1 can of chopped tomatoes (or passata)
- extra virgin olive oil
Put your flour in a bowl and make a well in the centre for your eggs, salt, oil and water. Obviously at this stage – like at any other in life, really – a funky apron is a substantial plus.
Beat the wet ingredients together with a fork or a spoon, slowly incorporating the flour as you go.
Once the eggs have been absorbed nicely into the flour, dump the whole lot unceremoniously onto a board or working surface and start kneading…
…until you’re left with a ball of dough.
Let the dough rest in the fridge for half an hour.
A pasta machine (they are relatively inexpensive and you can get them on Amazon – they will make you feel like the real deal at dinner parties) makes life easier, but you could equally rustle up the enthusiasm and use a rolling pin and elbow grease.
Pasta machines work in two phases; first you roll the dough into nice smooth sheets and then you cut it into your preferred shape.
Remember to start on the widest setting, progressively working your way down the notches until you get to the thickness (or thinness) you prefer. I personally like super thin pasta.
The dough might be a bit coarse at first, so rolling, folding and rerolling a few times might help you get the smoothness you’re going for.
Look how loooooong it gets.
Crank up the sharper end of the machine (in this case we chose the tagliatelle option, but most machines will let you do spaghetti too), and start the magical task of chopping up your long strands of doughy goodness.
Toss the tagliatelle in flour so they don’t all stick together while they wait to be cooked.
Looks good, does’t it?
Now that your pasta is done and dusted (literally – hehe – word play) you can crack on with your sauce.
Chop the onion. Bonus points for the pink knife, so here’s a bonus picture of it in action.
Throw the chopped onion into a pan with a generous glug of olive oil and let it cook away until soft.
Add the pancetta (or bacon) and let that brown.
Once the pancetta is sizzling and adequately crispy, add the tomato and let it simmer.
In the meantime, put a large pasta pan of water on the heat, salt it and wait for it to boil. Bonus points for the pink salt.
Once it’s bubbling away, delicately chuck your tagliatelle in.
They will cook very quickly – maybe one or two minutes – and you will know when they’re ready because they will float to the surface.
All that’s left to do is drain the pasta and add the sauce!