Maltagliati is a type of pasta from Italy's Emilia-Romagna region, its name meaning badly cut, reflecting its shape. This type of pasta was a probable food for the poor, roughly cut and often served with simple yet tasty ingredients. A classic ingredient that is often used with maltagliati is chestnut flour, displayed best here with chef Francesco Marrucelli's recipe for Chestnut Flour Maltagliati.
Chestnuts are historically tied with the peasant food of Tuscan cuisine, grown best in Tuscany and further North in Piedmont and Liguria. Chestnut flour is made by grinding these crumbly nuts, and has been popular in Italian cooking for centuries. It serves as a gluten-free flour substitute and is favoured for its delicately sweet flavour and earthy aroma. The chestnut flour infuses the maltagliati with its nutty decadence, a tantalising spin on the traditional pasta for the perfect base to an Italian main.
Chestnut Flour Maltagliati
Serves 4 - Cook in 1 1/2 hour
- 150g chestnut flour
- 150g semolina flour
- 250g ‘00’ flour (or all-purpose flour)
- 5 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
Mix the chestnut, semolina and all-purpose flour. Place the mixed flours in the middle of a work surface and create a “well” in the centre. Add the eggs and salt to the well, gradually begin to mix the flour and liquid ingredients, drawing the flour from the inside walls of the well. You can begin doing this with a fork, but eventually, once the dough becomes thicker, it is best to use your hands to work the dough.
Work the dough for 15-20 minutes until the mixture is fully combined and forms a ball. Wrap the dough in cling film and leave to rest for half an hour at room temperature. On a floured surface, divide the pasta into three parts. Roll out each part to form a thin rectangle: the thickness should be 1.5mm so that when you lift the dough you can see the shadow of your palm below. (N.B. If using a pasta machine, pull the dough to it’s thinnest extent). Flour with semolina if necessary.
Using a sharp knife or pasta cutter, begin to make a series of diagonal cuts to the sheets of pasta. Cut parallel to each other and then make the same diagonal cuts going the other way. You should end up with triangles and trapezoids — don’t worry about them being irregular, they are called maltagliati (“badly cut”) for a reason! Place on a lightly floured surface and sprinkle with semolina until ready to be cooked. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, immerse the pasta and cook for 1-2 minutes. Drain and serve with the sauce of your choice. Buon Appetito!