I never realised the kids would love it quite so much. This little side jaunt from our skiing trip was for me, not them, and yet, I discovered that putting children into a michelin starred kitchen to learn how to make traditional Bolognese peasant food is actually a very clever diversion.
The setting, Amerigo 1934, a double shop-front restaurant in a truffle village 40 minutes from Bologna central. Savigno is a sleepy place, with only the tartufo sign on the outskirts and the promise of a great local restaurant on the innards to draw you in.
Chef Francesca armed us with rolling pins sized from 50cm to the size of a 10 year old, and took us through the making, mixing, rolling and folding required to make various starchy morsels from the region – taglietelle, tortellini, tigelle, and my favourite, passatelli.
This incredibly simple pasta is made from stale bread, and can be cooked and presented in 10 minutes flat.
- 200g breadcrumbs
- 200g finely grated Parmesan
- 4 eggs
- lemon zest and nutmeg to taste
- salt and pepper
- brodo for cooking
- In a bowl, whisk the eggs with salt and pepper, and in another mix the dry ingredients. Then merge and work into a dough, starting with a spoon, but ending with your hands. Wrap in cling film and put aside in the fridge for up to 30 minutes.
- Heat up your brodo (this is simply a stock soup, clear and without pieces. Chicken, veal or game work best). Bring to a gentle boil.
- Place the dough in a potato press with 5mm diameter holes, and squeeze into the brodo. Cook for a couple of minutes, until the noodles all float.
- Serve as a wholesome soup, or strain and serve with sauce (e.g. pancetta and crisped sage)
If this looks like your kind of thing, contact the lovely Helena at Yummy Italy, who organized our class for us, along with a truffle hunt and more, which I will post about very soon!