For those who’ve been following us, they know that I love to make fresh pasta, and even more stuffed pasta like ravioli (all my recipes are here!). I’ve been testing many options and yet I was satisfied but never fully satisfied by the result, in particular the pasta itself, but not only, though the taste was always really delicious. So while in Florence and A. too busy with work, I decided it would be a great opportunity for me to learn from a real Italian "Mama" or a real chef. My first idea was to go to Giula’s cooking classes at Juls' kitchen, but it’s too far away from the city for this time, I'll go later in the spring... I wanted something that wouldn’t take more than 2h. So when I found the cooking classes at the mercato centrale (again mercato centrale... which in the end I've been visiting every day!), and that they just had a vegetarian mezzelune class at the perfect timing for me, I had to go!
And I didn't regret it, I made some of the best pasta ever I think, because thanks to the chefs I’ve finally learned the tricks that where missing to me:
1. it's OK to knead a lot the pasta and really use the palm of the hand to squeeze it;
2. let the pasta dough rest before rolling it so that the glutinous structure has time to develop;
3. roll and fold once first before rolling for real;
4. and that's the most crucial, get the sauce moisten (with some of the boiling water for the pasta) and after boiling the pasta add them to the sauce pan at medium-high heat, shaking regularly, so that they roll over in the sauce and it becomes just creamy, neither to watery nor too dry. Serve and it right away!
So now I feel really equipped to prepare more stuffed pasta!!! And I can’t wait to have my new motor for my pasta machine!!!
And because this something I would have never prepared, but it was really delicious, here is the recipe of the mezzelune I made.
Potato and chestnut mezzelune (for 2, makes 8-10 mezzelune)
For the pasta:
same recipe as usual: 100g of flour, 1 egg, olive oil (or not)
For the filling:
- 2 small potatoes
- 1 handful of boiled chestnuts
- a bit of parsley
- 10g of butter
- 20g of grated parmigiano
For the sauce:
- 5 mushrooms
- 1 little handful of dried porcini
- olive oil
- 15 g of butter
- 4-6 leaves of sage
- 30g of grated parmegiano
Start boiling the whole potatoes with the skin, simply washed and add the chestnut to soften them.
Re-hydrate the porcini.
Prepare the dough for the pasta , wrap it and keep it on the side.
Clean and peel the mushrooms, chop them, chop the sage. Drain the porcini and chop them. In a pan heated, add half of the butter for the sauce, a splash of olive oil, then the mushrooms, the porcini, the sage, cook at high heat until it start to golden, then lower the heat, add some hot water and keep cooking all along, while keeping it moisten.
By now the potatoes should be ready, so peel them and chopped them roughly. Mash them with the chestnut (a blender may be welcome here), add the parsley, the parmigiano and stir well to obtain a creamy-dry paste. Roll the pasta, cut out circles and start filling with the filling. close well.
Boil the pasta for about 4-5 minutes, then drain and add them to the sauce pan directly, add the rest of the butter and shake in the pan at high heat, until the pasta has rolled over in the sauce and the sauce has reduced to a creamy texture (look at the top picture at it looks like!). Serve, top with a bit of parmigiano, and enjoy!