ES.S41 | Spring 2012 | Undergraduate

Speak Italian With Your Mouth Full

Lesson 13

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A bowl contains pasta shells, tomatoes, and cheese.

The students learned how to make fresh pasta. This dish 
is orecchiette alla caprese. (Image courtesy of Graham 
Gordon Ramsay.)

Lezione Numero Tredici/Lesson Number 13

In this lesson, students will learn how to make the following:

  • Funghi trifolati/Sauteed mushrooms with garlic and parsley
  • Pasta fresca: Le tagliatelle/Fresh pasta: tagliatelle
  • Pasta fresca: Orecchiette alla caprese

Watch three videos:

Lesson 13, Part 1: Opening Lecture

Lesson 13, Part 2: Ingredients and Cooking Instruction

Lesson 13, Part 3: Food Preparation

_Funghi Trifolati_/Sauteed Mushrooms With Garlic and Parsley


  • Dried porcini or your favorite fresh funghi/mushrooms
  • If you are making pasta for four people, use about 1 lb of fresh mushrooms or 0.2 lb of dry mushrooms
  • Aglio/garlic, as much or as little as you want
  • Prezzemolo fresco/fresh Italian parsley
  • Panna da cucina (the closest ingredient I found in the U.S. is heavy cream), as much or as little as you want (you can use none)
  • Olio extravergine d’oliva, sale, pepe/pepper


  1. If you use dry mushrooms, soak them in warm water for about one hour. If you use fresh mushrooms, wash them and cut them in medium/small pieces.
  2. Make a soffritto/sweat with garlic (whole cloves, easy to remove, or chopped) in olive oil.
  3. Aggiungi/add i funghi e mescola/and mix. If you use dry mushrooms, you can add part of the water in which you soaked them.
  4. When the mushrooms are cooked (it takes 5–10 minutes), lower the heat to low, add heavy cream, salt, pepper, and the parsley leaves (washed and finely chopped).
  5. Remove from the heat: i funghi sono pronti! Serve them mixed with your tagliatelle or as a side dish/contorno! If you want, top with your favorite grated cheese.

_Pasta Fresca: Le Tagliatelle_/Fresh Pasta: Tagliatelle

Ingredienti per 4 persone

  • 400 g = 0.9 lb, a little more than 3 cups di farina/of flour – all purpose
  • Four uova grandi/large eggs
  • Un pizzico di sale/a pinch of salt
  • If needed to hold the dough together, due cucchiai di acqua tiepida/two spoonfuls of warm water


  1. Place the flour on the counter or in una ciotola/a bowl, make a well in the center, put the eggs in the well, and mix with your fingers or con l’aiuto/with the help di una forchetta/of a fork.
  2. Impasta/knead thoroughly: the dough is very hard to knead, but you want it to become smooth. 
    If you prefer, you can use un robot da cucina/a food processor.
  3. Let the dough rest for about one hour (wrapped in plastic film). If you are impatient, you can skip this step.
  4. Flatten the dough using a pasta machine or a rolling pin. If you use a pasta machine, lightly dust it and the dough with flour each time you run the pasta through it. Start from the widest setting and switch to the narrower until you reach the desired thickness. If you use the rolling pin, be sure to dust it and the counter with flour; flatten down to a thickness on about half a mm. Essentially as thin as you can.
  5. Cut the pasta in your favorite shape. Tagliatelle are about 5–7 mm (0.2/0.3") wide, pappardelleare wider (1.5–2 cm)

Look here for some ideas:–fresca–all–uovo.html

Commenti e variazioni

  • You can save the scrap pieces of irregular shape: they even have a name maltagliati/badly cut).
  • Cook your pasta in boiling salty water for 3–5 minutes.
  • If you made too much, freeze it before you cook it. In that case do not let it thaw before cooking it.
  • You can make pasta with less or senza uova/without eggs: in this case use only warm water.

_Pasta Fresca: Orecchiette Alla Caprese_

La Caprese

La caprese è un antipasto with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, basil and good olive oil. This is a variation for a quick and easy summery pasta sauce.


  • Pomodorini/cherry tomatoes, o you can also use other kinds of tomatoes
  • Mozzarella fresca/fresh mozzarella, if you like it you can use mozzarella di bufala
  • foglie di basilico fresco/leaves of fresh basil
  • olio extravergine di oliva
  • sale, pepe, peperoncino
  • optional: capperi/capers. If you use capers in salt, rinse them well before use
  • optional: percorino romano grattuggiato/grated

If you do not like to cook a occhio/by eye, then for four people consider about 1 lb of pomodorini and 1 large mozzarella (7–8 oz).


  1. Lava e taglia/wash and cut i pomodorini in quarters.
  2. Taglia la mozzarella a cubetti.
  3. In una ciotola grande/in a large bowl mescola/mix i pomodorini, la mozzarella, few (washed) leaves of basil (whole, or broken in pieces, using your hands), olive oil, salt, pepper, and red crushed pepper.
  4. If you like them, add a bunch of capperi and percorino romano.
  5. Your pasta sauce is ready. You do not need to cook anything! When the pasta is cooked and drained, mix all together in the bowl or in the pot.

Buon appetito =)

Orecchiette Fresche

Le orecchiette sono un tipo di pasta originario della regione Puglia.

Orecchietta literally means “little cute ear” (orecchio or orecchia = ear).

Ingredienti (per 4 persone)

  • 400 g di farina di grano duro (literally “flour of hard wheat"→durum flour, or sifted semolina flour – about 3 cups)
  • Un pizzico di sale
  • Acqua tiepida/warm water, as much as needed


  1. Impasta/knead forcefully for at least 10 minutes. You want the dough to be hard, smooth, and elastic. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for about 30 minutes. If you do not have the patience/la pazienza to wait it’s ok. ;)
  2. Roll pieces of dough into ropes as thin as a pen, and with a knife cut pieces of about 1/4”. With your hands, or with the help of a knife, give these pieces the characteristic orecchietta shape.Watch our videos or check out this link for visual help
  3. If you are not starving, let the orecchiette dry for a few hours. You can skip this step.
  4. Cook your orecchiette in boiling salty water for about 10 minutes or until al dente.

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Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2012
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