madonna del piatto

Italian family cooking



homemade Umbrian eggless noodles

homemade Umbrian “eggless” noodles

STRINGOZZI, PICI, CIRIOLE, UMBRICELLI. All these names indicate a type of peasant pasta, similar to fat spaghetti, which is traditionally made not only in Umbria but all over Central Italy.

The  stringozzi are delicate and chewy at the same time because they are eggless. In the past, stringozzi were made in the winter when women had to make do with few or no eggs.  As they overcook easily, I use 1 egg which holds the pasta together and prevents disaster.


  • 500 gr (3 and 1/2 cup) 00 flour plus additional for kneading
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pinch salt

To make the stringozzi dough use the same food processor method which I have explained for egg pasta. Alternatively knead all ingredients on a floured wooden board until smooth and elastic.

Set smooth rollers of the pasta machine on the widest setting. Cut the dough into 4 or 5 pieces. Flatten one piece of dough into a rectangle and feed through the rollers. Fold the rectangle in half and feed through the rollers 3 or 4 more times, dusting with flower as necessary to prevent sticking. Turn the machine’s dial down to the next (narrower) setting. Feed the dough one last time through the rollers without folding.
Roll out each piece of dough in the same manner. Cut the dough into small ribbons while the pasta is still soft. To obtain a more rustic look you can  roll each ribbon  in a round shape so to make irregular thick spaghetti. Keep flouring the pasta to avoid sticking.

Cook in salted boiling water for one-two minutes. It is important to cook the pasta in twice as much water than that used for normal dried pasta. Better to cook several small batches rather than a large one.

Serve with a simple tomato sauce and sprinkle with lots of fresh parsley. Delicious also with Norcina or a porcini mushroom sauce.

Serves 4

Stringozzi on Foodista


making fresh pasta: ingredients

FLOUR is a fashionable ingredient nowadays. In the last couple of years a variety of flours has appeared  in Italian food shops, even here in the province!  Manitoba, spelt, rice, barley, chick peas flours. Flour for pizza, flour for flat breads, flour for… you-name-it-it’s-there.

However, the average Italian home cook uses two types of  white flour :

“00” flour :  finely ground, soft-wheat flour, suitable for cakes, pastry and pasta

“0” flour : relatively coarse white flour , suitable for pizza, focaccia and bread

regular Italian white flour

regular Italian white flour

Traditionally fresh pasta is made with “00” flour to obtain  a silky texture and delicate taste.  Durum wheat flour (semolina) is used to make dried pasta like spaghetti, penne, fusilli or homemade orecchiette e cavatelli.

Even though “00” flour might not be available outside Italy, it is still possible to make very good fresh pasta using pastry or cake flour.

Adding different flours will change the taste and texture of the pasta. To avoid disasters, it is better to start with no more than 20% of the new flour.

Fresh pasta made with 100% semolina is chewy and hard to work with.  Pasta dough made with regular baking or “0” flour is often sticky.  The resulting pasta lacks body even when dry and overcooks easily.

In my  family, the only other ingredient used to make pasta is eggs. Fresh organic eggs if possible. And a bit of time. That’s it.

making this beauties is actually quite easy, recipe will follow soon.

making this beauties is actually quite easy, recipe will follow soon.


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