Thursday, September 23, 2010

Bologna, Italy - Pasta Making

Chef Morena Merighi came by our class in mid August and gave us a "true" demonstration on homemade pasta!

We were very fortunate Chef Morena came by the school to have dinner a few nights before and decided to come back and share with us her expertise. Chef Morena is from Bologna, Italy and has been making homemade pasta for years. We learned all they use in Bologna is flour and natural added salt, oil, etc. The salt she says, comes from the salted water the pasta is boiled in; and the pasta takes on the sauce it is paired with. She made for us a sauteed onions simmered in balsamic vinegar sauce for the tortelloni or tagliatelle we made. Chef Morena also invited us to par-take in the pasta making with her; and filmed the evening. The videos are posted on YouTube; here is one of them...


Chef Morena made for us homemade Ragu; not the meat sauce in a jar sold in stores, but the real Bolognese favorite. Here are two recipes of classic Bolognese Ragu; one by Emeril Lagasse - classic ragu bolognese recipe and the other by Mario Batali - ragu bolognese recipe.

Chef Morena obviously had her own recipe but the two above may suffice for you. She showed us the difference between Tortelloni and Tortellini. Tortellini was made to look like a belly button because the chef it is credited too was in love with a woman's navel...weird I know! But the big difference between the two pastas are the fillings and the size. The tortelloni are bigger and are traditionally stuffed with a cheese mixture of; Ricotta cheese, nutmeg, parmesan, salt and pepper. The tortellini are smaller and are stuffed with a mixture of mortadella and prosciutto. Chef Morena made the Tortelloni with a clarified butter/sage sauce. The sauce is extremely simple and consists of melted butter/olive oil and ripped pieces of fresh sage. Always toss the portioned pasta into the desired sauce and serve twirled or stacked in the center of the plate. Below you will find some pictures of our visit and another part of evening's video...Thank to Chef Bill (mgourmet).

Tagliatelle al Ragu
Tortelloni Butter Sage

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