bowl of pasta - feature

Learning to make handmade Tuscan pasta isn’t that difficult, especially when taught by Tuscans who make it all the time. While isolated in our home in Nebraska this week because of the coronavirus outbreak, we learned (via the internet) how to make handmade Tuscan pasta from our friends, Deb and Massi of Italy Unfiltered. They are also isolated in their home across the ocean in Italy.

How we set up the computer for the broadcast

We met Deb and Massi two years ago when we vacationed in Italy. While planning our trip, we got an email from the couple, inviting us to tour with them for a few days. We would experience Italy like locals, eating Tuscan pasta, tasting wines, and savoring classic Italian cuisine. How could we turn that down?

Based near Siena, Italy Unfiltered provides full service to its guests. Deb and Massi took us on a foodie tour of Siena we’ll never forget. And the experiences tasting wine and cooking that they set up were nothing short of magical. They also took us to the Prosecco Region, and it quickly became one of our favorite destinations in the world.

postcard jar with pasta in Italy

Among the services they offer is transportation. Massi is a licensed NCC driver in Italy, meaning he has a special permit for carrying tourists. And with that special license, he can drive places most cars aren’t allowed, meaning you get true door-to-door service. Ok, now let’s get to the pasta!

The idea for a Tuscan pasta class

Needless to say, we made fond memories with Deb and Massi and have stayed in contact with them since our trip. Since becoming isolated due to the coronavirus outbreak in both Italy and the US, we all had longed for connection. After talking a bit, we had an idea to connect virtually, make (and eat) pasta, and share it all with you. We hosted a live Facebook event Thursday, March 26, where Deb and Massi cooked handmade Tuscan pasta in their kitchen in Tuscany, while we cooked in our kitchen in Crete, Nebraska.

It was a wonderful experience and definitely a highlight of our week at home.


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Tuscan pasta pin


Here’s how you make handmade Tuscan pasta

Here’s what Deb and Massi said we’d need to make Tuscan pasta and vegetarian sauce.

Ingredients for the day's cooking

There are some substations, as well. For instance, if you don’t have a rolling pin, you could also use a filled wine or vinegar bottle. If you don’t have Semolina flour, just just and equal part of all-purpose flour instead for your Tuscan pasta. 
ingredients for pasta and sauce

The first thing we did was cut up all of our vegetables and garlic and set those aside. You want to dice the vegetables into very small pieces for this rustic sauce. In our opinion, we didn’t cut our carrots quite small enough.

Vegetables cut for the sauce

Then, we moved on to the handmade Tuscan pasta! We didn’t use a bread maker or food processor for this step. We did it the old fashioned way. The first thing we did was measure out our flour and put it in a glass bowl. We made a little crater in the middle and added our egg and extra virgin olive oil.

egg and flour

Next, we mixed it together with a fork until it was well blended and then kneaded the dough. We let the dough rest in the bowl covered with a towel for about the 30 minutes.

Now, back to the Tuscan pasta sauce

We sautéed the garlic and vegetables in extra virgin olive oil and then added the tomatoes, water, and basil. It smelled so good! While the sauce was simmering, we rolled the Tuscan pasta dough out until it was translucent and we could see our hand through the dough.

vegetarian pasta sauce

 

Pasta dough rolled out

Next came the fun part. We rolled the dough lengthwise to make two rolls that met in the center of our Tuscan pasta. (There are more details on how to do this in the recipe.)

Rolling the pasta dough for cutting

The next step is to cut the Tuscan pasta into strips and lift it with our kitchen knife!

Pasta cut hanging on the knife

Time to pull our Tuscan pasta and sauce together

Next, we added the pasta to heavily salted boiling water (with a little olive oil) and let it boil for about 4-5 minutes.

Handmade pasta boiling

When the Tuscan pasta was al dente, we drained the pasta and gently placed about half of it in a bowl. The sauce had thickened by then and we poured a generous amount onto the pasta, garnished it with a basil leaf and gave it a try. Delicious!

Steve with finished pasta and sauce


Here are Italy Unfiltered’s recipes for the handmade Tuscan pasta and vegetarian sauce. Let us know if you make this dish and tag us with a photo on social media @postcardjar and @travelitalyunfiltered. 

handmade egg pasta

handmade tuscan pastarustic vegetarian pasta sauce recipe