10 May 2018

How to make pasta like an Italian mama in Trentino

How to make Italian pasta the traditional way, by hand

Making pasta the traditional way in Trentino was my final Destination Challenge and I can assure you that my respect for the Italian mamas went skyhigh after learning how it's actually done.

We learned to make Tortelloni with cheese and nettles at Baita S. Lucia da Fritz with the help of Chef Claudio. He showed us how it's done.

Let me guide you through the different steps.

Step 1: Prepare the Nettles

Find yourself some nettles in nature, give them a good wash and take the sting out of them.

Don't forget to wear some protective gear against the Nettle sting!

Cleaning nettles for Tortelloni with nettles and cheese
Start pulling the leaves off and rinse them in water

Cooking nettles
Then you boil them to take the sting out of them.

 Step 2: Make the pasta

This seems easy but I can assure you that it requires technique and strength. You make a little volcano of flour and add then egg yolk in the heart of the crater. 2 eggs per 100 grams of flour and add a pinch of salt.

Then you gracefully and firmly knead the pasta dough until it looks a bit like the ball you see below ;-)

CAUTION: Try not to sweat too much on your pasta :-D

Kneading pasta dough in Trentino
That's as graceful as it gets with me... :-)

Pasta dough before it goes in the fridge
The result after half an hour of working that pasta dough.

Bjorn Troch making pasta
You then wrap it vacuum and put it in the fridge for 30 min.

Step 3: Mix the nettles and cheese.

While your pasta is cooling down in the fridge you have time to mix up the nettles with the ricotta cheese. Just cut the nettles in small pieces and try not to include your fingers. :-) Then mix it all up with the ricotta cheese and knead it into a beautiful nettle cheese ball ;-)

chopping nettles for italian pasta dish
Chop it reaaal goood.

Ricotta cheese for the Tortelloni with cheese and nettles
Ricotta cheese anyone?

Mix it baby!

Nettles and cheese filling for tortelloni pasta

Step 4: Rolling rolling rolling

Now you take your pasta dough out of the fridge and after you admire how beautifully smooth it looks you go to work with an old school dough roller!

Little by little the pasta dough flattens and you just keep going until you can lay it over a newspaper and are still able to read the text. That's when you know the pasta dough is ready to be cut into squares so you can start your pasta origami moment.

smooth pasta that just comes out of the fridge
This is how beautifully smooth pasta can look.

Having the dough roller ready
Pasta dough roller ready!

rolling pasta dough
Also the rolling requires some technique.
Add pressure from straight above as much as possible and let your hands glide over the roller.

rolling pasta dough with a dough roller
Once it gets fine enough try rolling back and forth like this.

Step 5: Pasta origami

Now that the pasta is flat enough you can start cutting out little squares and fold them into tortelloni. Don't forget to add the nettle cheese filling and use egg yolk as glue to glue the pasta together.

Works like a charm ;-)

Cutting the pasta in squares for the tortelloni
Cutting the pasta into squares

Folding the pasta into tortelloni shape
Fold it like a boss!
Chef Claudio needed to show me a few times before I got it finally right.

one folded tortello
Tadaaaa! A beautiful tortello made with love!

Tortelloni ready for the oven
Ready for the oven!
Chef Claudio of Baita S. Lucia da Fritz with Bjorn Troch The Social Traveler and Steven Herteleer
Big thanks to Chef Claudio for showing us how it's done!

Beautifully cooked Tortelloni
Prepare it with some garlic sauce and enjoy!

Guests at Baita S. Lucia da Fritz enjoying the Tortelloni we made for them
We offered these guys some of us hand made pasta and the assured us that it was super tasty :-)

Now it's your turn! Please do try recreate Tortelloni with nettles and cheese and let me know how it all worked out ;-)

Looking forward to your beautiful creations.

More about Trentino...

Canyoning in Trentino 
Things to do in Rovereto
Hiking in Valle di Ledro

More about cooking

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How to make paella in Catalunya
How to make Baleadas in Honduras
How to make pink soup in Latvia
How to make Lapin Tournaisiens in Tournai

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