CUTTING FRESH PASTA Italian Style
PASTA CUTS vary greatly from region to region, and even from one town to the next. Capellini (angel hair) are generally boiled in a good meat stock, Quadrucci (small squares) are used for soups, Maltagliati (randomly cut pasta) for rustic beans or chickpea soup. Garganelli and Farfalle are dressed with light buttery sauce. Fettuccine and Pappardelle are used with any kind of tomato or “light” sauce, but primarily with tomato-meat sauce or ragu’.
Some of the Most Common Fresh Pasta Cuts
Pasta alla chitarra
Little ribbons ¼ inch (6 mm) wide
Wider cut about ¾ inch (2 cm)
Wider cut for layered pasta
(“Badly cut”) Irregular cut for soup
Little squares for soups
(“Butterflies”) Pasta in a butterfly shape
Small ruffled tube shapes
(“Little ears”) Little concave dumplings
(“Guitar pasta”) Pasta cut with a special guitar-like device
Flour lightly the working board and the surface of the pasta sheet.
Pick up one edge of the pasta sheet, and fold it about 2 - 3 inches. Then fold it again and again and again, until the whole sheet is folded in a long flat roll, about 3 inches wide.
Fettuccine - Tagliatelle
Cut the roll across in slices about ¼ inch wide.
Open the rolls and spread the fettuccine out (or arrange in the shape of a “nest”) on a clean cloth for the last drying stage.
Proceed as you would for fettuccine. Cut the rolls across ¼-inch (6 mm) wide. Turn them sideways and cut again ¼ inch (6 mm) long . . . .
. . . . to obtain small squares.
Capellini (Angel Hair)
Proceed as you would for fettuccine, but cut the roll across in very thin slices no more than 1/16 inch.
Proceed as you would for fettuccine, cutting ¾ inch to 1½ inch (2–4 cm) wide slices.
You can also cut the pasta sheet in strips using a fluted pastry wheel.
Maltagliati (Badly Cut)
Proceed as you would for fettuccine. Cut the rolls across about ¾ inch (2 cm) wide. Turn them sideways and cut diagonally in an irregular way, to obtain triangular or trapezoidal shapes.
Maltagliati can also be all the trimmings left over form cutting other pasta shapes.
Farfalle - Butterflies
Cut the pasta sheet in about 1 - 1/2 inch (4 cm) squares. Pinch the square in the middle to obtain bow-tie shapes.
Lasagna - If you are preparing fresh pasta for lasagna, cut the pasta sheets in large squares. The size should be a module of the lasagna pan.
Pasta machines come equipped with a special tool to cut the pasta sheets in a fettuccine size . . .
. . . or angel hair size. Insert the pasta sheets in the special tool and follow the instructions.