Sunday, November 30, 2008

Pastamaking with Lucia

Lucia came to the palace kitchen to cook with us. The menu included fresh tagliatelle with bolognese sauce and roasted chicken with garlic, rosemary and olives. Delicious. And fun.

Lucia's Tagliatelle
1kg '00' flour
1 egg per person

The flour was put onto the table, and a well was formed in the centre, where the eggs were broken and put into. Slowly, with a fork at first, the eggs were incorporated into the flour.

As the pasta started to come together, the fork was set aside, and it was kneaded by hand, until eventually it was ready for the rolling pin, then cut by hand.

Tom had a turn with the rolling pin and was a natural at rolling pasta, Lucia gave him an A+. His zest for cooking (and eating) is contagious!

Lucia's Bolognese
extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, left whole, studded with 6 whole cloves
2 carrots, left whole
2-3 celery stalks, left whole
2 pork sausages
1/2 kg ground beef
500-750ml red wine
sea salt
tomato puree (passato)

Traditionally in Umbria, the vegetables are left whole in the meat sauce. The explanation was that some people may not like to eat the carrots, or celery, so they were left whole to flavour the sauce, and anyone could request it if they wanted to eat the vegetables. The onions, carrots and celery are first sweated in a generous amount of olive oil, then the meats are added, the heat is turned up, and more oil is added if required. Then an entire bottle of wine was added, minus a glass for Lucia, along with a 1/2 litre bottle of passato, which is just pureed tomatoes with a little sea salt.

Sidney rolling out the tagliatelle - great job! Such enthusiasm - especially considering the injury to his finger from the previous day's misadventure in the kitchen!

The owners of the palace, Rita and Gugliermo join in, and Rita instructs us on the finer details of rolling pasta.

Beautiful food.

Great company.

Inspirational setting.

A wonderful meal with everyone in the granary at Palazzo Venturelli.

JoAnne and Sidney enjoying their first trip to Italy.

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