The day before departing for Seattle I decided to treat my family, in particular my father and my wife as they are real truffle lovers. “Fettuccine with Black Truffle of Norcia” was my way to say thank you to my family. Of course it was also an opportunity for me to test another innovative pasta formula with some picky eaters and a way to combine everything that I learned through my research in the previous month.
My father is gluten intolerant so I had to find a way to reduce gluten in the pasta. After various experiments I decided to stick with an ancient grain from Tuscany (2000 years old seeds have been found in the Tombs of Etruscans, a population that was living in central Italy before the Romans) with lower gluten content compared to modern varieties of wheat and an incredible nutty and sweet aroma, Quinoa flour and Teff flour. I sourced the best eggs I could find (I just asked my dad whether the hens laid any eggs that day and he returned with six still-warm eggs). The perfectly balanced olive oil from my garden was ideal, despite not containing the prized peppery flavor typical of the Tuscan olive oil produced in the Chianti region, as it does not overpower the flavors of the pasta.
The traditional proportion for an egg dough is one egg for every 100 g of flour. However, at Dueminuti we are committed to bringing you only the best of the Italian tradition. So in developing the final egg dough recipe, I kept track of the protein, fat, carbs and vitamins content of each ingredient. The scientist in me took charge and with the help of excel and a scale, I finally arrived, after a few attempts, at the perfect nutritionally balanced pasta recipe. I experimented with different flours, egg yolk and egg white combinations thinking about how the proteins of the egg white and the fats of the egg yolk affect the structure and texture of the pasta. In the end, a modern recipe that reproduces the silkiness and lightness of the traditional pasta recipe was born. The new recipe is derive from the Italian tradition not forgetting my grandmother’s lessons and the wisdom of all the grandmothers of Italy. Making a well in the flour with the fist, breaking the eggs inside the well, slowly incorporating the eggs with flours and finally kneading the dough with the palms of the hands and dancing with the dough using the whole upper body is what traditional pasta making is all about. My innovative egg dough follows exactly the same procedure but I used the scale to be sure that the ingredients are in the exact proportion.
The result was stunning. The dough sheet I made that day was one of the most fragrant I had ever came across. The color was vibrant, the texture was very light but with a lovely bite at the end, and the flavor was unmatched. The sweater and nuttier flavor of the ancient wheat grain perfectly masked the somewhat metallic taste of the Quinoa flour, the Teff imparts a nice yellow hue and added a bit of nuttiness to the flavor. Free range fresh eggs from my garden played a huge difference as well, which is why at dueminuti we are committed to using only the best eggs we can find.
The pasta cooks in thirty seconds and it did not lose a bit of its quality while sitting in the pan for the routine pictures, and not even after the five minutes I spent trying to gather the family to the table as they were too busy playing with my six-month old nephew.
I personally cannot wait to bring the products we are developing at dueminuti to Seattle. We will come soon! Stay tuned!
Paper thin sheet of pasta dough.