Bread n' milk pasta dough recipe
STEPS 5 INGREDIENTS 4 TIME 15-20 MINS
Hailing from the Emilia Romagna region of Northern Italy, centered around Bologna (where a particular meaty sauce comes from), this pasta dough recipe employs plain white flour, just like normal egg pasta. However instead of eggs, you mix up this plain/regular flour with crunchy breadcrumbs, then pour over lovely hot milk to create the moisture.
Sounds hearty right? You must try it.
On this page we'll make this scrummy pasta dough and then I'll explain how to form it into small curled 'pisarei' (pronounced pee-zah-ray). These are gnocchi-like shapes but made from pasta dough rather than gnocchi's usual potato.
- 250g/9oz plain/general purpose white flour
- 50g/1.75oz breadcrumbs (from a tub is fine)
- 200ml/6.75 half-fat milk
- Pinch of salt
STEP 1 - On a clean surface or pastry mat/board, use your hands to make a bowl shape out of the flour.
- Drizzle the breadcrumbs evenly across the inside of this bowl.
- Add a pinch of salt.
STEP 2 - Warm the milk in a pan until hot (don't boil it).
- Grab a fork and pour half the hot milk into the flour bowl.
- Use a fork to mix the milk with the flour and breadcrumbs. Gradually add more flour from the walls to thicken it up.
- Slowly add the rest of the milk, the aim being to have all the walls roughly mixed together with the last of the milk.
STEP 3 - Now with clean hands, knead this mixture into a ball of pasta dough.
Tip: If the dough is too dry and hard, add a drop more hot milk. If it's too moist and sticking to your hands, drizzle over a little more flour.
- Flatten the dough ball with your palm, fold over itself, turn 90 degrees and flatten again. Repeat this process for 5-10 minutes (this is important - it puts little air bubbles inside the dough).
- When you can chop the dough ball in half and see lots of these little bubbles, it's ready.
STEP 4 - Chop off a cake-like slice of pasta dough and roll this with your hands into a half-inch-wide sausage shape.
- Now chop this sausage into half-inch cubes. Repeat until all pasta dough has been chopped.
STEP 5 - Now we make our gnocchi-like pisarei.
- Take one single chunk of chopped pasta.
- Press very firmly down in the center of the chunk with one or two fingers and at the same time, in one fluid movement, pull your fingers towards your body.
This down-and-back movement should drag the pasta over the surface, 'rolling' it slightly around your finger's end and creating a curled mini-shell shape.
(Also check out these super-quick Italian ladies doing it - I don't think they're first-time pisarei makers!)
- Repeat until all chunks are shaped.
Voila! You made 'pasta pisarei'!
To cook: boil up these fresh pasta shapes in a large pan of well-salted boiling water for a couple of minutes (just until they rise then 30-60 secs more).
This type of pasta should not be overcooked but served 'al dente', which means firm to the tooth.
To serve: Easy! Just cook up your very favorite pasta sauce and mix it through with your cooked pisarei shapes (or serve the sauce on top of a bowlful of pasta).
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