This video by DeLallo, producers of fine olive oil and Italian pasta products, is part how-to video and part travel video. We go behind the scenes in the historic pasta shop in Bologna, Italy, Bruno e Franco, to see how these filled pasta delicacies are created. It starts with the traditional handmade pasta dough made in a flour well with fresh eggs, and moves on to rolling the pasta by hand and then hand assembling the individual pasta pieces. This is a time honored - and time consuming - traditional method that is still used every day to produce these exquisite Italian culinary treats.
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In Italy, you'll find pastifici artigianali, or pasta artisans, in all major cities and many smaller towns. These are small, family-run shops that make their own pasta daily from scratch in a time honored tradition. While you'll find pasta shops all over Italy, Bologna is particularly renown for filled pasta varieties and a trip to the local pastifici is part of the daily shopping experience.
In this video, we visit one of the most historic and famous of the shops in Bologna, Bruno e Franco, to see how they make their products. In addition to the pasta shop, they also run a beautiful salumeria, or delicatessen, that sells the pasta along with proschiuto, cheeses, olive oils, vinegars and other regional specialties.
The dough is made by hand using the classic method of incorporating the fresh eggs into a well of flour.
Note: The pasta made in this video uses double zero (OO) flour: a finely milled variety used for pizza and pasta.
Rolling the pasta is always done by hand. Once rolled out to the desired thinness, it can be cut into shapes. First we see farfalle (shown above), called butterflies in Italian. Also known as bow ties. The dough is cut into small, equal size rectangles using a special rolling knife and gently pinched to form the characteristic shape.
Next we see tagliatelle being made. The large sheets of thin dough are placed between clean towels and allowed to dry a bit. Once dry, the two sheets of dough are gently folded together into a wide, flat roll. When cut, the dough forms long pasta ribbons. A wide cut produces tagliatelle larghe. A very narrow cut results in tagliatelle stretta (also called taglialini in other areas of Italy), an extremely thin ribbon of pasta which is used for broth.
Next we see Mara making an unusual shape called caramelle, (caramel) candies, with a filling of artichoke puree, ricotta cheese and Parmesan cheese. Tricky business to get the pinched edge just right.
Most of these pasta fresca, fresh pasta, are usually served with a very light, simple sauce such as butter, butter and sage, or olive oil so as not to overwhelm the taste of the filling.
Tortellini and tortelloni are the most famous of the filled pasta specialties of Bologna. We see the tortellini (shown above) being made with a classic Bolognese mixture of prosciutto, parmeggiano, lombo (a cut of pork), mortadela (a salami-like cold cut) and eggs. The tortelloni (big tortellini) are a larger version of the same shape and these are filled with a rich, ricotta blend.