experimenting on the kneading board
I am determined: One day, I will invent a new pasta shape. As an intermediate step, I have created an innovative variation of an existing pasta shape called fainelle. I decided to g...
experimenting on the kneading board
I am determined: One day, I will invent a new pasta shape. As an intermediate step, I have created an innovative variation of an existing pasta shape called fainelle. I decided to give my pasta a different name, because it is made quite differently from the inspiring one (see details below).1
According to my source, the "Encyclopedia of Pasta" by Oretta Zanini De Vita, fainelle are typical of Foggia (Puglia). The word fainella in dialect refers to the fruit of the carrob tree (in Italian, carruba), to which the pasta shape resembles. I was not able to find a reference to it outside of the page in Zanini De Vita's book, so the idea I have is based on the drawing and the text on that page.
Fainelle belong to the strascinati family of pasta shapes and are made with a sferre: "A typical knife of Puglia used to make many types of pasta. It has no handle, so it can also be used horizontally to make long strascinati." To approximate the shape, I decided to roll the dough with one of the pieces of dowel I had purchased during my experiments to make garganelli. I realized that using a mini rolling pin meant my pasta would not be a type of strascinato. (A sferre is now officially on my wish list.)
The result reminded me of a patch made of cloth, in Italian pezza. I made a couple of pezze and then the presence on my working surface of my gnocchi board gave me the idea of rolling the pieces of pasta dough on it to get a ridged surface and pezze rigate were born.
Then I thought about a variation: instead of placing the cylinder of dough parallel to the board grooves, I placed it a bit angled and as a result the ridges on the surface of the pezza came out oblique.
You can see my hands at work on both versions in this short video:
Based on Zanini De Vita's description of the flours used for this pasta
shape, I decided to make a blend of whole-wheat flour and semolina flour. I could
have used farina di grano arso, also mentioned in the book, but I wanted to vary.
first batch of pezze
I am reading a cookbook for
an upcoming review that is all about using flowers in the kitchen. I had
some calendulas (calendule) I had obtained to make one of the book's recipes and I added some of their petals (petali) to the pasta dough.
with calendula petals
Pezze rigate are probably
not the best choice to show off the use of flowers in the kitchen, but it was
an interesting experiment and I will certainly work more on the idea.
Ingredients for the pasta:
EITHER 25 g / 1 oz. stone-ground whole-wheat flour + 75 g / 2.5 oz. semolina flour of good quality
OR 100 g / 3.5 oz. semolina flour of good quality
50 g / 1.75 oz. warm water (I recommend weighing the water)
A pinch of salt
How to make the dough and shape pezze rigateMake
dough with the pasta ingredients and knead until nice and smooth.
Let the dough rest, well wrapped to avoid drying, for half an hour or so.
dough into a thick roll, then cut it into 5-6 pieces and shape each one
into a roll about 3/8 inch (1 cm) in diameter. Cut each roll into approximately 1 1/2-inch (4 cm) long
pieces, then place each cylinder on the gnocchi board with the long sides either parallel to the board's grooves or slightly angled. Run the mini rolling pin — a piece of dowel of 3/8 inch (1 cm) or 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) in diameter — over the piece of dough 2-3 times to thin it and "stamp" it. The resulting pezza rigata will be about 2 inches long. Lay out to dry ridged side up on a surface lightly dusted with flour.
Repeat with the other pieces of dough. Lightly dust the gnocchi board as needed to prevent the dough from sticking too tightly when you roll it.
ready for the fork