MALTAGLIATI WITH BEANS
A classic dish of cucina povera, the “poor cuisine” of the peasants which is sought after today by all for its healthy and delicious qualities. The word maltagliati refers to torn, or badly, unevenly cut noodles.
Time: 1 hour and 10 minutes
For the pasta:
200 g all-purpose flour
For the soup:
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 sprig rosemary
extra virgin olive oil, as needed
1 onion, chopped
2-3 slices turkey bacon (or other meat bacon, or vegetarian bacon), diced
2-3 tablespoons tomato paste or puree (concentrated)
500 g canned borlotti beans, drained
500 ml-up to a litre of stock or water plus a stock cube
salt and pepper to taste
grated parmesan or grana, as desired
Place the flour in a big mound on a wooden board, and make a well in the middle. Add the eggs to this well, and using a fork, beat the egg mixture, incorporating a little bit of the flour as you go, until all the egg is absorbed, and it forms a dough; knead until smooth and well mixed. Let the dough rest, wrapped in plastic for 20-30 minutes.
Warm a few spoonfuls of the olive oil in a pot over medium heat, and when hot add the rosemary and garlic. When garlic has turned golden, add the onion, turkey bacon, and tomato paste, stirring to mix well, and cook for a few minutes.
Next, add the beans and stock, season with salt and pepper.
Cook over low medium heat for about 30 minutes.
If desired, remove garlic clove and rosemary.
Puree half of the bean mixture, or mash them coarsely with a fork, potato masher or vegetable milll; return the puree back into the saucepan. Set aside.
Meanwhile, roll the pasta into sheets using a pasta rolling pin or a hand-cranked pasta machine; lightly flour the pasta sheets, then fold each sheet several times onto itself and with a knife cut into fettucine of about 1 cm. wide. Spread them open on a lightly floured tray and leave to dry for 20 minutes, turning every now and then. Then cut with a knife or break with your hands in order to obtain irregular pieces of fresh pasta, a couple of centimeters long each.
Add the pasta to the soup and cook together for about 5 minutes; the pasta will cook very quickly.
Serve hot, with a sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.