Sunday, December 16, 2007

A. Tortellini

Yup. I'm now the official pasta girl of RestoX. My name is A. Tortellini. Today, ChefX gave me a gift certificate (of appreciation - so nice!) to the restaurant with the name under "A**** Tortellini."

Same pasta story: 14 egg yolks + 2 whole, 1 qt + small mound flour, pump out dough ASAP about 20x, sweat, admire satin-smoothness of dough, roll out tagliatelli, cut circles, form tortellini, self-critique.

On pasta and vanity: I often think about the big, hefty "mammas" of Italy and wonder if I'll look like that 6 months from now. And in my vainest moments I worry about the lopsidedness of my shoulder - one buff, one not. I also can feel my face contort slightly as I roll out the dough. I will never know if it's pretty. Most likely not.

On pasta and cursing: The tortellini dough was too moist and sticky today, and the filling seemed unusually large for the circles. The tortellini were not behaving, so I kept doling out "sh**! f***! cr**! what the h***!?" I see now why chefs have a reputation for cursing - if you mess something up, you see all the hours of sweat and toil that went into creating what you just dumped into the garbage. There is no ctrl Z in cooking. I started to wonder if maybe the cursing made the tortellini unhappy, and in turn made them rebel against me (if you believe in that kind of thing - water structure being affected by words, etc). I also worried that they would taste horrible if made with anger vs love. So I started to talk to the tortellini, trying to make nice. Down to my last one, ChefX informed me I used a cutter 1/8" too small - miles of a difference in the tortellini world. Live and learn.

On tortellini butts: The flatter they are, the better. The ideal one should should sit like a sumo wrestler - plump, squat and flat. They should also recline back a bit, like a La-Z-Boy, so they can accommodate the sitting peas.

On tortellini and evolution: They do.


Anonymous said...

Hello A. Tortellini here is Anonymous Agnolotti as I worked in Spain we had a different pasta story 1000g flour 18 egg yolks,6 hole eggs, 2 spoons of olive oil, and 50ml whitewine cooked with safran( colour and taste. A Agnolotti is moreless the same, but is easier to do. you roll out tagliatelli, put the filling in a distance of 1-2 cm at the head of the pasta, overlap it with the lower part ( looks like a leaf of paper, when you halve it)then you press the pasta between the fillish( attention that no more air stay inside, does up like a balloon, when you cook them)and cut them with a waved pasta knife. Next time I will send a picture to imagine. What a fillish you put inside?
Sometimes is better be quite than dolling out ( so is easier to "undercover" a misstake)

Undercover Cook said...

A. Agnolotti, I've see Jamie Oliver make ravioli with this fold-over technique - these are very similar but with one side smooth, no? Seems much less headache-inducing than tortellini, except for the part where you have to be mindful of the air pockets. Apparently they can explode.

The white wine and saffron idea is new to me - how does the wine add to the flavor of the pasta? It doesn't render the dough too moist?