The fabulous Monday Pasta continues.

Tonight we had another hand-made pasta.  Tagliatelle.  Feather-light tagliatelle.  Perfect ribbons of silkiness…

I’m in love.

Victor has mastered the art of pasta-making.  Totally and completely.

Personally, I think everyone needs to go out and buy a pasta roller.  You can’t buy pasta like this.  You just can’t.


Serves 4

Making fresh pasta is easier and quicker than you may think, and the results are well worth the extra effort. Tender and supple, this hand-cut tagliatelle readily absorbs the flavors of the sauce it’s tossed with.


  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • Coarse sea salt


On a clean work surface, mound flour and form a well in the center. Add eggs and egg yolks to the well. Using a fork, gently break up yolks and slowly incorporate flour from inside rim of well. Continue until liquid is absorbed, then knead for 10 minutes. Wrap dough tightly in plastic and let rest for 30 minutes.
Divide dough into 3 pieces. Cover 2 pieces with plastic wrap. Flatten remaining dough piece so that it will fit through the rollers of a pasta machine.

Set rollers of pasta machine at the widest setting, then feed pasta through rollers 3 or 4 times, folding and turning pasta until it is smooth and the width of the machine.
Roll pasta through machine, decreasing the setting, one notch at a time (do not fold or turn pasta), until pasta sheet is scant 1/16 inch thick.

Cut sheet in half widthwise; dust both sides of sheets with flour. Layer sheets between floured pieces of parchment or wax paper. Cover with paper and repeat with remaining dough.

With the short end of 1 pasta sheet facing you, loosely fold up sheet, folding sheet over two or three times from short ends toward the center. With a large chefs knife, cut folded sheet into ribbons, a scant 1/4 inch wide. Unroll strips and lightly dust with flour; spread on a lightly floured baking sheet. Repeat with remaining pasta sheets.

To cook the tagliatelle, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Drain pasta, transfer to a large serving bowl and toss with sauce.

Three ingredients.  That’s it.  Three ingredients.  No gums, stabilizers, or dough conditioners.  Flour, eggs, and salt.

The sauce is the same.

The recipe tonight called for prosciutto, shallots, and cheese.  Three ingredients.  Four if you count a couple tablespoons of wine.  Simple, basic, and exploding with flavor.

I really love complex dishes where a score of ingredients compete and blend.  But there is another side of me that really loves the simplicity of a dish – where there are three ingredients and I taste each one individually and collectively.

Tonight’s pasta was just that.  Each ingredient stood out, yet complimented and balanced the others.

Having grown up with – and cooked – Americanized versions of Southern Italian food, I’m really enjoying the more authentic and simpler foods Italy has to offer.  A couple of good ingredients is all it takes.

Tagliatelle Fresche al Prosciutto Crudo

4 servings


  • Fine sea salt
  • 5 ounces 1/8-inch-thick slices prosciutto
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallot (1 to 2 large)
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 14 ounces fresh tagliatelle
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, cut fat from prosciutto; finely chop fat. Cut remaining prosciutto into
1/4-inch cubes. Combine prosciutto fat and butter in a large nonstick skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add shallot and cook for 1 minute more. Add cubed prosciutto and cook for 1 minute more, then add wine and ¼ cup of the boiling water; cook until liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes, then remove from heat.

Add pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente (about 3 minutes for fresh pasta). Reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking liquid, drain and immediately transfer to a large bowl.

Return skillet with prosciutto to medium-low heat. Add cheese and stir to combine. Immediately add contents of skillet and 1 tablespoon of the pasta cooking liquid to pasta; toss to combine. Add more pasta cooking liquid to moisten, if desired. Serve immediately.

And for dessert, I made a Spongata…