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Gia-Gina Across the Pond

So I've decided to follow my husband to his native Italy. Follow our adventures as we eat, drink, travel, adapt to and explore this remarkable country. Part food blog, part photo blog but mostly my rants and raves. After our two years in Italy, we relocated across the Atlantic "pond" and are back in the States.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Fresh Tajarin-(Ta-yah-rin)

We came away from Tuscany with 2 dozen eggs from Enzo and Claire's hens and while I gave about 8 away to couple who takes care of our apartment building, I still had 10+ left. Creme caramel and creme brulee were possibilities but in the end I settled for tajarin (ta-yah-rin), a pasta typical of Piemonte and made only with egg yolks. This is not low fat but a small portion should not set you back too much. Take an extra Lipitor and you should be fine. This pasta dish is served with truffles when they are in season, which is now, but since I don't have any, good ole parmigianno will have to do. Sugo d'arrosto (a silky meat sauce) usually accompanies this pasta dish.

For the sauce:
Vitello albese, a very special sort of cow is famous here in Piemonte. It is a cross between and veal and a steer and has a wonderful flavor. If you cannot find it, use veal and beef or a mix of both. It's a great broth and can be used for many soups and sauces. Use with agnolotti, plin, or ravioli.

2 pounds of vitello albese or beef brisket, I mix bones and meat, whatever I have
1 celery stalk, chopped
3 sprigs of rosemary
1 garlic clove, smashed
2 t. salt
1 small onion, quartered
1 small tomato, quartered
1 carrot, chopped
water to cover not more than 3 qts.

1. Heat olive oil in a heavy pan, brown all the meat and bones or you can roast them in the oven.
2. Add vegetables and carmelize slowly without burning. Add water and simmer for 3-4 hours.
3. To finish the sauce, saute about 2-4 T. butter in a saute pan, add 4 sage leaves and fry to a crisp, add 1/4 C. of the broth and simmer until it is reduced to a gravy, about 5 mins. Fish out sage leaves and set aside.

For the pasta:
2 C. flour
6-8 egg yolks
pinch of salt

(This makes about 4-6 servings)

1. Mound flour in a large bowl or on a wooden work surface. Dig a well in the flour and add the egg yolks, using a fork gently incorporate the flour into the eggs until you have a sticky mass.
2. Add more flour if necessary and knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic and no longer sticks to the work surface or your fingers.
3. Cover with plastic wrap or a towel and let rest for 30 mins.
4. After it has rested, pass it through the pasta machine at least 8-10 times on the thickest setting. Then proceed to thin out the pasta until it is about 1/8 of an inch thick, about the second to the last setting on the machine. Let the sheets dry a bit but not so much that they become brittle.
5. You can handcut the pasta about 1/8 and inch thick or pass it through the machine to cut the noodles. The thickness is about 1/2 to 1/3 the size of fettucini. Let dry for 30 minutes or more, up to half a day.
6. Cook in salted water for 1-5 minutes depending on how long they were dried, taste the pasta, they should not be rubbery but with a bit of bite to them. Drain well and toss with the sauce. Garnish with fresh sage leaves and parmigianno if you don't have truffles.

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Deme's pasta machine finally gets taken out of the cabinet and put to good use. Notice the color of the pasta, with fresh egg yolks, the pasta is a dark yellow, sometimes even almost orange.

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While I was making the pasta, I had flashbacks of all the times I helped my mom and dad make fresh Chinese egg noodles, not much different from tajarin.

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Here is the finished pasta, with a famous Piemontese sauce, sugo d'arrosto.

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At 1:37 PM, Blogger Sara said...

Wow the pasta is a beautiful color. Sounds like a tasty recipe.

At 8:08 AM, Blogger Cynthia Rae said...

What time is dinner?
We will be there in 3 hours!


At 10:24 AM, Blogger Mona said...

oh man this looks to die for! i had homemade pasta this weekend and it was sooo much amazingly better than the boxed up version. now i never wanna go back! i was practically eating the noodles before we even dumped them in the water to boil!

At 3:01 AM, Blogger american girl in italy said...

Cyndi, pick me up on the way! :OP
That looks delicious!

At 10:00 AM, Blogger crazysalad said...

No wonder you had flashbacks to Chinese noodles. Check out this picture of the 4000 year old noodles they discovered in China earlier this year. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4335160.stm

Your pasta looks much more appetizing, of course. But it just goes to show how long noodles have been a part of the human diet.


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