Pasta has always been an integral part of my life. As children, my sister and I always helped with the pasta making and I have endeavoured to always include my children as well.
Whether helping to fill the tortellini or ravioli or hanging fettucini to dry over the broomsticks resting on the lounge room chairs or curling nests of fidelini on the homemade drying rack which consisting of insect screen material pulled and nailed tight over a frame, pasta and pasta making was just part and parcel of growing up in an Italian family.
Well, that is, with the assistance of the wonderful pasta machine to roll the pasta into long thin perfect lengths and further more it was always egg pasta.
When my husband's 98 year old grandmother passed away a little over a year ago I inherited her pasta rolling pin -36 inches long and over 2 inches in diameter! Yep, it sure is one mean rolling pin!
With it's discovery, (because it had been put to rest long ago) resurface my father-in-law's memories of the days of rolling pasta entirely by hand. He recalled that Nonna would roll and lift and turn the pasta until it was so long it hung well over the edges of the kitchen table and then it would be cut to shape for the pasta of the day. This task was performed each and every time pasta was on the menu which of course was generally every day. As simple as it is, I treasure that rolling pin.
And so, my interest in handmade pasta grew.
This week I notice this wonderful pasta on one of my favourite blogs, Manu's Menu. Busiati, Manuela tells us, is a traditional pasta from the Trapani area of Sicily. The name is derived from the "buso" which is a wooden stick from a plant growing abundantly in this area of Sicily used to form the pasta. Manuela suggests a knitting needle but I found a wooden skewer worked quite well. If you have never visited Manu's Menu you are in for a treat of amazing Italian food and photo's.
Busiati are made with a non egg pasta dough. For me, this is very new and I was a little apprehensive but the results speak for themselves. I used the measurements from "My Calabria" by Rosetta Costantino.
Thanks Manuela for a great technique and guidance via your very clear tutorial to make my first handmade pasta!
560 g plain all purpose flour
170 ml lukewarm water ( you may need a little more)
Mix the flour and water in the bowl of your stand mixer or you can do it by hand. The dough should be firm but come together in a ball. If it seems dry add a few drops of water until it just comes together. Wrap in plastic and rest for a least half an hour.Then the fun starts!
Take a small amount of dough leaving the rest wrapped in the plastic. Roll a sausage shape a bit less the a centimetre thick. Place your wooden skewer at the end of the dough on an angle and press onto the dough slightly to stick and start rolling the skewer with your hands so the dough wraps around. Once wrapped roll the skewer backwards and forwards with your hands until the busiato thins and lengthens. Slide the busiato off the skewer with your hands and place it onto a slightly floured tray.
Your first busiato is made!
Continue in this manner creating many busiati.
Enlist diners to help with the task and in no time at all you busiati will all be prepared.
My teenaged daughter helped me with these and we both really enjoyed it and had a laugh learning to perfect our busiati. Actually she picked it up so quickly, I was learning the whole time!
When it comes to cooking the busiati be sure to salt your water really well as there is no salt in the dough. We cooked out busiati for 5 minutes but it was little to long. Our busiati were a little on the small side so probably tasting and testing at 3 minutes would have been better.
Served with a Pork Ragu and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
We had a great Sunday lunch!
We had a great Sunday lunch!