Growing up in Florida I didn’t quite get seasonal eating. Down there we only had two seasons: hurricane and tourist. It was always hot and sometimes wet. As I started to read food magazines waxing rhapsodic about summer berries and fall gourds I began to fetishize the concept of eating with the seasons. Even though it made no sense to do so where I lived. That didn’t matter to me. It was Fall in Florida and I was going to do my damnedest to make it feel that way. Dried porcini mushrooms became an obsession but I was unable to locate them. Living in New York now I can find just about anything on any day of the week.
Last winter some friends of mine and I headed to Arthur Ave. in the Bronx, the real Little Italy of NYC. I scooped up a bunch of “00” flour and dried porcinis, with no real idea of how to use either. This isn’t a rare thing for me to do. No less than 20% of my pantry is comprised of these “curiosity” items.
Earlier this week I cracked open Aliza Green’s Making Artisan Pasta. In it there is a recipe for dried porcini pasta. Fresh homemade pasta is far superior to the cheap packaged stuff from the supermarket, as long as you have the right ingredients. You’re going to need more than just all-purpose flour. Ideally you have some “00” or Italian style flour, and you will definitely need some semolina and durum. Ok, I’ll be honest I couldn’t get durum on the quick run to the store, so I doubled up on the semolina. The pasta has a nice bite to it and it worked in a pinch.
15g dried porcinis, powdered in a coffee or spice grinder
175g 00 flour
3 eggs, at room temperature
3 TBL water, room temperature
1.With the paddle attachment in a stand mixer, or using your hands, mix together all of the ingredients. Once a dough has formed change the attachment to the dough hook. Mix on medium speed for 5-10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and tacky but not sticky.
2. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.
3. Cut the dough into 4 pieces. Flatten each piece and keep them covered with plastic wrap when not in use. Shape the first piece into a square. Run it through the pasta roller on the widest setting. Fold it over and run it through on the next setting up. The actual numbers will depend on your pasta machine. With mine I run my pasta through the machine first one 1, then 2, then 4, 6, and lastly on 8. I fold and rotate my dough each time I run it through the machine (except for after the last time, the dough is ready then.) After running the dough through the machine on 6 I cut the resulting long sheet of dough in half, to make it more manageable.
4. Once the dough is rolled out to your desired thin-ness put it through the tagaliolini attachment to get broad, flat noodles. Hang the noodles on kitchen cord or lay them out flat on a tea towel lined baking tray to let the noodles dry.
For bowties: Do not run the pasta through the tagaliolini attachment. Instead cut the long edges off of the dough using a decorative edge roller. Use this same roller to cut the long strip of dough in half length wise. Use a flat roller blade to cut the dough into small rectangles. Pinch each rectangle in the middle to create the bow tie shape. Allow to dry on a tea towel lined baking tray, flipping over once during the drying time.