Handmade Tagliolini with Mushrooms

Most Italians would be perfectly happy to eat pasta every day, and some probably do. Everyday pasta is normally dried durum pasta, delicious when of good quality and properly cooked, and also convenient as it can be stored for months in the cupboard. Fresh pasta, on the other hand, is generally regarded as more sophisticated, and it’s more likely to be found on restaurants’ menus. This recipe describes how to make ‘tagliolini’ from scratch without a pasta machine, and then serve them with a simple mushroom sauce. ‘Tagliolini’ are a kind of ‘tagliatelle’, and they are similarly named from the verb ‘tagliare’, to cut.

Fresh pasta has a different texture and flavor than dried pasta also because of the different ingredients. Eggs are frequently added (most fresh pasta is labeled: ‘pasta all’uovo’) and all-purpose flour is often used instead of durum wheat flour. This is especially true when fresh pasta is made by hand since durum flour would be harder to work into shape because of the longer gluten strands that it forms.

Handmade Tagliolini with Mushrooms

Yield: 2 servings

Total Time: 1 hour

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Handmade Tagliolini with Mushrooms


     For the tagliolini

    • 1 scant cup of flour
    • 1 egg
    • 1/16 of a teaspoon of salt

     For the mushroom sauce

    • 2 cloves of garlic, each cut in 2 or 3 pieces
    • 5 or 6 medium-sized crimini mushrooms, sliced
    • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
    • 1/2 cup of cream (33% fat)


       For the tagliolini

      1. Gather the ingredients (1).
      2. Using your hands, mix the ingredients together (2).
      3. Add just enough warm water (2 o 3 teaspoons) to form a compact ball. Kneed for a couple of minutes (3).
      4. Have the dough rest, covered in plastic wrap, for at least 30 minutes (possibly longer, up to 1 or 2 hours) at room temperature. Since the dough is unleavened, it won't rise - the resting time is necessary to allow the gluten to relax, making the dough slightly less elastic and easier to handle.
      5. Unwrap the dough and proceed to roll and cut the tagliolini as shown in the video below.

       For the mushroom sauce

      1. Roast the garlic in the olive oil at medium heat (a) until golden.
      2. Add the crimini mushrooms. Roast them until they soften and start to release some liquid (b).
      3. Remove the garlic and add the cream. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for a few minutes (c).

       To complete the dish

      1. Boil the pasta in plenty of salty water for 3 minutes (see the Cooking Pasta 101 article for more info).
      2. When the pasta is ready, drain it quickly and then toss it in the pan with the mushroom sauce. Mix gently.
      3. Serve in warmed up bowls, sprinkled with Parmigiano (freshly grated), some fresh parsley (minced), and black pepper.

      Note: This traditional technique makes use of the rolling pin to stretch the dough, as opposed to just pressing it. This process takes a bit of time to master, but it’s easy when making a small batch of noodles. Preparations like ravioli and tortellini are a lot harder to do by hand because they require a thinner dough.

      6 thoughts on “Handmade Tagliolini with Mushrooms”

      1. Great post Paolo.

        One tip when making mushrooms sauce. Since in north America is pretty hard to find fresh porcini I usually soak some dried porcini in warm water. I then add the softened porcini to the other mushrooms together with the water. This give to all the mushroom a nice porcini flavor.

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