As a lover of meaningful dishes with heritage and tradition, I have to say that I am straight up THRILLED to be sharing this recipe with you. This fettuccine is simple, special, and an Italian classic. I had the privilege of picking up this family recipe in Rome earlier this year, in January, when Brett and I were visiting with my cousins John and Paige. I was dead set on taking a cooking class in one of the food capitals of the world. As fate would have it, we found ourselves at Angela's. I was immediately inspired by the relationship between Angela and Grandma Anna, who helps her teach the class and is the master of rolling the dough, that I just had to know more.
Angela with Grandma Anna
Before I knew it, I found myself sitting in Grandma Anna's living room nestled in the colorful neighborhood of Tormarancia. Right away, I could tell this home held memories. Memories of a husband who'd long passed and memories of watching children and grandchildren racing up and down the halls. If that weren't enough, Angela and Anna's chemistry is unmistakable. Suddenly, I felt so lucky not just to learn this recipe, but to see a pair so in sync and so damn cute. Between Angela translating for Grandma Anna and making everyone feel right at home, there were so many laughs. You know, the kind that is knowing and warm. The kind that goes with those mischievous side glances when you know someone is up to no good. It was clear that the two were emotionally close and that Angela still had that big, heart-swelling admiration for her grandmother that sometimes rubs off as we get older. Not only is this fettuccine passed down for generations straight from a Roman's kitchen, but it is the definition of a dish made with love.
I just couldn't help myself and decided I had to know more - so I linked up with Angela to do some more digging on the background of this recipe.
Angela whipped up her first batch of fettuccine at just 5 years old and is so proud of the fact that in four generations, the recipe hasn't changed a bit. Who is the mastermind behind Proietti Farinelli fettuccine? That would be Nonna Antonietta, Grandma Annas mother and Angela's great-grandmother who created this pasta in hard times. It was a lifesaver when they had nothing since it is not only cheap but can feed the entire family! She says what makes it timeless is the simplicity. No oil, salt or water is required for the dough - just egg and flour. Nonna Antonietta, who lived to palm pasta for 94 years, passed it down to Grandma Anna who passed it down to Roberta (Angela's mom) and Angela. Grandma Anna didn't only teach Angela fettuccine - but other Roman dishes, too! Such as Frittata Romana, Fagioli All'uccelletto, Ravioli and more. While Grandma Anna was planting little grains of wisdom, Angela's mom, Roberta, taught several family secrets as well! Dishes like Carbonara, Amatriciana, Cacio de Pepe, Lasagna and Ragu just to name a few.
Like most great family traditions, there are so many great memories that go with them. Angela says that one of her fondest memories about this recipe was waking up in their family house in the mountains as a little girl and seeing dough everywhere! With sheets resting on the couch, chairs, countertops, coffee table, you name it! She said she'd trot down the stairs so excited because she knew they'd be eating fettuccine all day! Angela had never even heard of a pasta machine until years later when she wound up in California for a while. The Proietti Farinelli believe that the power is in the palms and I have to agree.
Before I get started - I just want to say a big humongous thank you to Angela and Grandma Anna for letting me use the recipe they shared with me (and for sharing it in the first place)! Because of this sweet story and awesome recipe, I've developed a unique friendship with Angela that I might not have otherwise-love ya girl! :)
If you ever find yourself in Rome - her cooking class is obviously an absolute must!! You can find it here: https://abnb.me/dSfc8Lq6WW
So, now that I've given you the scoop on the awesome ladies behind the recipe. Let's get to the magic!
As I mentioned - all you need for the dough is egg and flour (the olive oil is for the water when boiling). I will explain the exact serving size once we get to the recipe portion at the bottom - basically you need an egg per person. For the purpose of the recipe - I'll make this portioned for two. You can always double it if you have more people - or are just extra hungry ;)
Take 10 spoons of flour, make a nest and crack your eggs.
Mix until it's no longer sticky and start working with your hands! Once smooth, let rest 20-30 minutes in a plastic bag or plastic wrap. I gently kneaded and folded it in a few times for a couple of minutes. It looked like this when I placed it in the bag.
Once you time is up, remove from the bag and get to rollin! Coat with lots of flour to keep from any sticks.
After you've rolled out as much as you can - you get to put your palms to the test! Maybe this is done in other Italian kitchens as well, but I like to think of it as exclusively a Proietti Farinelli thing.
So, here's what you do: roll the dough around the pin, roll back and forth while simultaneously moving your palms from the center out. This thins the dough and makes for perfect, soft noodles.
Once you've got the dough as thin as you can, pour yourself a glass of red and let the dough dry for 10-15 minutes. I've got Saperavi, Georgia's driest (and best). Besides, is it even Italian food if you don't have any wine?
Now you get to fold and cut your pasta!
Take your sheet of dough and fold it into itself three times.
Take the top 1/3 and fold it down, fold the bottom 3/3 up.
Now, take a knife and cut from left to right in 1/4 inch increments. afterward, separate the strips-because these babies are ready to boil!
Here is a small bit of what was left before I added to boiling water - I forgot to get all of the noodles together! This is not all the pasta!
Add a few spoons of olive oil to some boiling water and drop in your fettuccine! Since it's fresh, it is ready in ONE minute!
For the sauce - I just used what I had on hand. I blended tomato paste, tomato, parsley, garlic, ajika, and a splash of water. Ajika is a Georgian-Abkhaz spicy red pepper blend that is an AMAZING addition to any tomato based sauce. I have been using this combo on repeat for pastas and pizzas!
Ready to top and serve!
Recipe for two:
10 tbsp flour (heaping half cup)
pinch of salt
add flour to bowl and make a nest, crack eggs.
Mix until it's no longer sticky, then start to work with your hands. Knead and fold.
When smooth, seal in plastic bag and let sit for 20-30 minutes. No air!
(If you are making a large portion with more than 4 eggs, let rest for up to one hour.)
After resting, open dough with rolling pen and roll out and away until completely flat.
Then, work with palms! Roll the dough around the pin(reference pictures above), roll back and forth while simultaneously moving your palms from the center out. This thins the dough and makes for perfect, soft noodles.
Now, take dough and fold 3x. Bring top 1/3 down to middle and bottom 3/3 up to middle.
Now, cut your strips! Noodles should be around 1/4 inch wide.
Separate fettuccine and prepare boiling water.
Add a few spoons of olive oil and a pinch of salt to water-boil noodles for one minute.
Add your sauce and enjoy! The sauce that I used is one I made with what I had on hand-I blended tomato paste, tomato, parsley, garlic, ajika, pinch and a splash of water. Ajika is a Georgian-Abkhaz spicy red pepper blend that is an AMAZING addition to any tomato based sauce. I have been using this combo on repeat for pastas and pizzas! If you do not have access to Ajika, I would suggest dried crushed red peppers!
Finally, top with parmigiano and enjoy!
If you have access to Roman Pecorino-I highly suggest it! The Proietti Farinelli swears by this delicious, salty, sheep's cheese.
Pair with a dry red.
Notes: This is based on a "healthy" serving of pasta-so feel free to up the servings and have a feast!
Here are some photos from our awesome experience with Angela and Grandma Anna.
I really hope that you enjoyed this recipe and the super sweet story behind it.
I would love to know if you wound up making this fettuccine and how it turned out!
And seriously, if you make it to Rome-do yourself a favor and look Angela up!