My grandmother loved cooking for her family, she grews up without her parents, because they emigrated to America, leaving her in the care of her grandparents when she was just a child, never returning to pick her up. Despite this she was a “hen”, capable of giving love and maternal affection to everyone, even those who were not of the family. My friends and those of my brothers loved her and called her “Nonna Susina” (don’t ask me why SUSINA that means plum … I really don’t know) everyone called her that way.
One of the things she preferred to prepare was fresh pasta and tagliolini in particular. Each time I was amazed to see her ability to roll out the dough by hand with a very long rolling pin (which obviously will be mine together with the immense wooden pastry board).
She started with a small amount of pasta to arrive at a perfect circle of about 100 cm in diameter and she used only semolina and eggs, the consistency and porosity were indescribable. That pasta held the sauce in a wonderful way. She also had the machine, the famous “Imperia”, but she only used it when she was tired and couldn’t stretch it by hand (around 80 years old). The tagliolini in our house were often made but the quantities became industrial at Christmas, Easter and the Feast of Our Lady of the Hens, a very popular festival in my hometown of Pagani. My recipe changes only in the type of flour because I use remilled semolina and not semolina because not living in Italy it is very difficult to find it.
Ingredients for 4 people
400 gr of re-milled semolina
4 whole eggs
Pour the flour on a work surface and make the fountain (a hole in the center capable of holding the eggs), add the eggs and beat with a fork slowly, slowly until the semolina is incorporated. At this point, put down the fork and work with your hands. Knead well until you get a smooth and compact dough. Wrap in cling film and let it rest for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, cut a slice of dough, flour it and try to roll it out forming a circle (if you have a dough roller, good for you) with a thickness of 2mm. My grandmother arranged table cloths on the beds and left the sheets to dry there (pettole, as she called them). You can dry them on the table covered with a flour-dusted tablecloth. When it has dried a little, roll the pastry on itself and with a knife with a marked blade cut the tagliolini to a thickness of 1 cm. Unroll and leave to dry; you now have 3 options: buy the special pasta drying rack; use the clothes drying rack or place the clean broom stick between two chairs. Whatever method you use, let the tagliolini dry but do not let them dry too much otherwise you will not be able to form the nest because they will break. So, when the tagliolini are dry at the right point (you have to touch them to realize if they are ready because it depends on the period in which you make them and where you are, geographically speaking, if there is wind; the factors are many, so better touch them: they must be dry but not hard. However when they are ready, take 5 each and roll them around your fingers excluding the thumb and form the nest. Arrange the nest on the floured work surface and let them dry again. At this point your tagliolini are ready , you just have to prepare a nice sauce to dress them and enjoy them.