Tagliolini with Smoked Salmon
When you mention, pasta all’uova or “egg pasta” to an Italian, the first thought that usually comes to mind is: Emilia-Romagna. This northern Italian region is known throughout the peninsula for it’s egg pasta that is used for signature recipes like lasagne to cappelletti, tagliatelle to its lesser known cousin, tagliolini. Taglia in Italian means “cut”, and the difference between tagliatelle and tagliolini is in the width of the cut. Tagliatelle are larger, about 7-8mm, while tagliolini, are finely cut into strands around 2-3mm.
In Emilia-Romagna the common pasta dough recipe is 100g of flour to 1 egg. Now if you find yourself in Piemonte, however, you’ll commonly find tagliolini by its dialect name, tajarin, and made of an egg dough exclusively from egg yolks resulting in a rich golden yellow color.
Pasta dough by hand:
Put the flour on a large clean work space and create a crater shape. Add the eggs and gently whisk with a fork. Gradually incorporate the flour from the sides. Gently mix together until a ball of dough starts to form. Knead for 10-15 minutes until elastic. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.
Pasta dough in a stand mixer: Attach the dough hook to the stand mixer and add flour and eggs. Mix on low for 5 minutes until the dough comes together as a ball and is smooth. Wrap with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.
Rolling out the pasta:
Attach the pasta roller accessory to the stand mixer. Divide the dough into 4 pieces, press them into flat rectangles. Lightly flour each side. Pass one of the pieces through the machine on speed 1 on no.0. Fold the ends towards each other and pass it through again. Continue to pass the dough through, reducing the thickness from no. 0 to 5. If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can roll out the dough with a rolling pin.
Cut the tagliolini:
Attach the tagliolini pasta attachment to the stand mixer. Flour each sheet well, then run each sheet through the attachment. Alternatively, roll the two ends towards the middle and cut 2-3 mm wide strands. Unravel and toss with flour to keep from sticking together.
Make the sauce:
In a large skillet, heat the extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft and translucent; about 5-6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the cream, smoked salmon, parsley, salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 1 minute until the cream is slightly reduced. Remove from heat until the pasta is ready.
Cook the pasta:
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Generously salt the water and taste it. It should taste salty like the sea.
Cook the tagliolini for 2-3 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water.
Return the skillet with the smoked salmon cream sauce to cook on low heat. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce along with a tablespoon or two of pasta water. Heat until liquid has reduced and stir until well combined. Serve immediately. Buon appetito!