Al dente

Making pasta from scratch is an art form – one that requires simple ingredients, but a
time-tested process. These local chefs have mastered the craft, plating pasta that would gain the approval of Italian grandmothers everywhere. Achieve al dente with their advice.

By  Mary Beth Wallace

Photography by  Lanewood Studio

 

Making pasta from scratch is an art form – one that requires simple ingredients, but a time-tested process. These local chefs have mastered the craft, plating pasta that would gain the approval of Italian grandmothers everywhere. Achieve al dente with their advice.

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Tony’s Pasta Shop & Trattoria

 

Black Pepper Linguine

  • 1 cup semolina flour
  • 1 cup durum wheat flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 11 1/2 Tbsp. fresh cracked black pepper

 

METHOD

Chef Jeremy Long at Tony's

Jeremy Long, Chef

Place all ingredients into a food processor. Process until dough resembles breadcrumbs, taking care to ensure all flour is incorporated. Place dough on worktable and begin kneading dough using the palms of both hands until it becomes smooth and forms a cohesive mass. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 20 minutes before rolling and shaping to insert into pasta machine (make noodles as directed by the manufacturer of your pasta machine).

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil over medium-high to high heat. Carefully drop fresh pasta into boiling water and stir gently just after adding noodles to keep them from clumping. Fresh pasta takes 2-4 minutes to cook; cook time depends on the thickness of the pasta, as well as your desired level of doneness.

 

RECOMMENDED SAUCE PAIRINGS

Cajun alfredo sauce, scampi, roasted garlic gorgonzola

 

low country linguine from Tony's
 
Low Country Linguine

Black pepper linguine, sautéed crawfish, mushrooms, and Cajun alfredo sauce

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Hummingbird Pastaria

 

Gnocchi

  • 4 medium Idaho potatoes
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (plus more for dusting)
  • 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 3 egg yolks

 

METHOD

Patrick
Halloran,
Owner & Executive Chef

Bake Idaho potatoes for 1 hour at 350°, then remove skin. Put potatoes through a ricer (or food mill). Place potatoes in a rectangular mound and create a well through the middle lengthwise. Add salt, pepper, nutmeg, flour, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and egg yolks (in that order, adding the egg yolk last so the residual heat from the potatoes doesn’t cook the yolk). Cut in all ingredients using a dough cutter just until ingredients are incorporated, then knead dough until it comes together. Roll into a large log about 3 inches in diameter. Divide log into 3 equal-size pieces with a dough cutter. Roll each individual roll into 1/2 to 3/4-inch diameter logs, adding flour to the work surface and log throughout the process. Cut each log into 3/4-inch pieces, flour again, and transfer gnocchi to a tray in a single layer, not touching. Move into a refrigerator to cool.

Once cooled, boil gnocchi in salted water. Once they float, cook about 1 more minute – they will start to enlarge. If you cook too long, they will deteriorate. Spread out on oiled sheet pan and cool down.

 

RECOMMENDED SAUCE PAIRINGS

Arrabbiata (spicy tomato sauce with oven-dried tomatoes), herbed white wine butter sauce, cream sauce

 

gnocchi arrabbiata from hummingbird pastaria

 

Gnocchi Arrabbiata

House-made gnocchi, oven-dried tomato arrabbiata, ricotta salata, and basil

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Boccaccia Ristorante Italiano

 

Ravioli

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 2 eggs, divided
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 15 oz. ricotta cheese
  • Salt, to taste

 

METHOD

Mix flour and salt together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk hot water with 1 egg. Combine the two mixtures and knead until firm. Roll dough into a ball.

Meanwhile, make ravioli filling. Place a skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add spinach and wilt without using oil. Mix wilted spinach with Parmesan and ricotta. Add salt to taste.

Roll out dough into sheets. Place one sheet over a ravioli mold, then gently press the dough into the depressions of the mold to form small pockets. Brush with egg wash (egg beaten with water). Using a spoon, scoop out and add about 1 Tbsp. of ravioli filling to each pocket. Place another sheet of dough over the mold and press the two layers together using a rolling pin. Be sure to peel off any excess dough. Turn the ravioli mold over and release ravioli.     

Boil ravioli in salted water for about 2 minutes, or until they pop up. Transfer to a skillet and toss with your desired sauce.

 

RECOMMENDED SAUCE PAIRINGS

Pomodoro, browned butter sauce, alfredo sauce

 

ravioli di spinaci ai formaggi

 

Ravioli di Spinaci ai Formaggi

House ravioli, butter sauce, diced tomatoes, and Parmesan cheese

Luciano Zoanni, Chef

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Alimentari Cucina e Bar

 

Spaghetti

  • 2 cups semolina flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup warm water

 

METHOD

Lydia Williams pasta maker at alimentari cucina e bar

Lydia Williams, Pasta Maker

In a large bowl, mix flour and salt. Add warm water and stir to make a stiff dough. Add more water if dough seems too dry. Pat dough into a ball and lay onto lightly floured surface. Knead for 10-15 minutes. Cover and let dough rest for 20 minutes. Roll out dough using a rolling pin or pasta machine – only work with 1/4 of dough at a time; keep the rest covered to prevent it from drying out. Roll by hand to a 1/16-inch thickness, or, if using a machine, stop at the third-to-last setting. The dough is then ready to cut into your desired pasta shape.

Boil pasta in salted water for 3-5 minutes and strain.

 

RECOMMENDED SAUCE PAIRINGS

Classic pomodoro, carbonara, any cream-based sauce

 

ground veal bolognese from alimentari cucina e bar

 

Ground Veal Bolognese

House-made spaghetti, Bolognese, and mixed herbs

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