If you have read Three Gold Coins you may remember the pasta making scene with Gilberta. The character of Gilberta is a fictional one but she is lovingly named after the real Gilberta (Sangiorgi Nuccitelli Gilberta), who taught us how to make pasta when we were on retreat in Tuscany. Here are some photos and Gilberta’s recipe, as she gave it to us. I have written the method as best I can remember of the great pasta making day.
Gilberta’s Maltagliati Pasta
1 kilogram of Grano Duro Wheat, Type 00 (double zero), plus more if necessary when kneading
Extra water if needed.
Method, part one
- Either use a plastic bowl or a wooden cutting board. Make a well in the centre of the flour, add the eggs and fold in with your hands.
- If the mixture is too dry, add sprinkles of water if necessary.
- Knead until the mixture has the consistency of your ear lobe. It should be stretchy but spring back. Sprinkle more flour if it’s too sticky.
- Let it rest for ten (Italian) minutes. This is a good chance to drink some wine. 🙂
Method, part two
- You need to have plenty of space to roll out the pasta and leave it to dry. The pasta sheets can’t be on top of each other or they will stick. Use a cotton cloth to lay the pasta out on because it will absorb whatever scent you put it on.
- Cut off a slice of pasta and squeeze it to the thickness you need to put it through the pasta press.
- You ideally need two people—one to feed the press and the other to catch sheets at the other end.
- Flour between the sheets so they don’t stick to each other.
- If the pasta breaks, roll it up again and put back through the pasta press.
- Dry the pasta sheets for ten (Italian) minutes.
- When it’s dry, cut or tear it into smaller pieces then boil as you would normally boil pasta.
- Serve with your favourite sauce and homemade table wine.