Pasta traditions are passed down through generations. From great grandparents to grandparents to parents to children, every Italian family — whether proprietors of a local restaurant or just dedicated home cooks — has their own way to make pasta. And Nancy Silverton wants to show you how Masolino, one of her favorite restaurants in all of Italy, makes it.
At the Umbrian restaurant, Silverton learns from family matriarch Bruna Strappaghetti and her daughter Stefania Belfico how to make tagliatelle — a wide flat pasta noodle made with eggs, durum flour, all-purpose flour, olive oil, and salt — in the traditional Italian style. The recipe, which Silverton teaches in her class for YesChef, a subscription-based streaming platform offering cinematic cooking classes taught by world-renowned chefs, is relatively simple to remember: Just five eggs and 500 grams of flour make up the Masolino restaurant recipe. “I just love how perfect the well is that exactly fits the five eggs,” Silverton says of Stefania Belfico’s flour mound, which is called a fontana. Perfectly mounding and building a well out of flour comes from years of experience — but you too can learn from Belfico and Strappaghetti.
“There’s that flip. And that sound, I love that slapping sound,” Silverton says as Belfico flips and rolls out the dough to a wide, flat circle. The final step is folding, then cutting the dough into thin strips. “The irregular cut is proof that it’s homemade,” Belfico says, proudly. No machine. Just old-fashioned knowledge and a little flour and eggs makes a rustic pasta dish for everyone to enjoy. — Dayna Evans
335 grams all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
165 grams durum flour, plus more for dusting
Salt to taste
Extra-virgin olive oil
Step 1: Mix the flours together and pile them on a large clean surface, preferably wood.
Step 2: Create a well in the middle of the pile and add a pinch of salt to the flour.
Step 3: Break the eggs into the well and add the olive oil.
Step 4: Slowly whisk the eggs with a fork and add flour from the edges to create a dough mass.
Step 5: Once the eggs and flour have come together, start kneading the dough into a ball.It will be soft at first but will firm as you knead it.
Step 6: Flatten the ball of dough into a thick disk, adding more flour as needed so that the dough doesn’t stick to the surface.
Step 7: Using a long rolling pin, roll out the dough to make a large sheet of pasta. Roll it as thin as possible, lifting and moving the dough constantly to make sure it doesn’t stick.
Step 8: Dust the sheet with some more flour.
Step 9: Start folding the pasta sheet in from one side, dusting with flour in between each fold.12. When you reach the middle, start folding from the other side.
Step 10: Using a sharp knife, cut the folded pasta to your preferred thickness.
Step 11: Boil the pasta in a large pot with a pinch of salt for 4 to 5 minutes, then remove and drain.