This is an unusual pasta you can see from time to time throughout Italy, from Calabria to Tuscany. It’s made with either ground chile flakes, or in this case Calabrian hot pepper powder — the same chiles used to make the famous salami nduja.
In Tuscany, their version is called tagliatelle con pepperoncini, and my recipe is a hybrid of the two: Tagliatelle made with the Calabrian ingredients. In the South of Italy, you can see other shapes, such as the filei — a short, twisted pasta that catches hearty sauces. You can buy both the Calabrian red pepper powder and the ready-made chile pasta online through Scott over at the Sausage Debauchery.
I serve this pasta simply, with parsley and garlic. You want the flavor of the red peppers to shine through.
- 2 teaspoons cayenne or Calabrian red chile powder
- 2 rounded cups of Italian “00″ or all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley leaves
- 3 finely chopped garlic cloves
- 2-3 tablespoons high-quality olive oil
- Pour the flour into a large bowl and make a well in the center.
- Add the chile powder, eggs, olive oil and salt to the center of the well and stir to combine, trying to not touch the flour.
- Once the center contents are pretty well combined — you don’t have to have everything perfect — start incorporating the flour slowly as you stir until you have a shaggy mass.
- Bring the mass together in the bowl until it forms a ball, then begin kneading it on a well-floured surface. Knead for 5 to 8 minutes.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and set aside for an hour.
- Roll the pasta out in a machine (I use an Atlas) to No. 7, which is two notches from the thinnest setting.
- Now you can either hand-cut your tagliatelle or use a cutter attachment to your pasta maker. To hand-cut, make sure your pasta sheets are not sticky. Roll loosely and slice through at 1/4 inch intervals with a sharp chef’s knife.
- To serve, heat the high-quality olive oil over medium heat and briefly saute the garlic, no more than 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the parsley and stir to combine.
- Boil the pasta in salty water for 1-2 minutes, then add it to the sauce. Toss well to combine and serve immediately. It is not traditional to add cheese to this pasta, but you can if you want to. Serve with a fruity red wine or a slightly sweet white.