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When Italy was an agrarian country, supermarkets did not exist and most of the products were grown in home orchards. At that time families were very careful not to throw any left-overs away. That is why maltagliati, irregular petals of left-over dough, were used to lend substance to soups, while all the rest of the dough was used to make fettuccine and tagliatelle. Over the centuries, these humble scraps of dough have gained a reputation, becoming a new type of pasta, both capable of enhancing the taste of the savouriest sauces, and of combining with delicate fish, legume or vegetable sauces. Here is a delicious recipe for you: maltagliati with an artichoke sauce, to exquisitely prove what we were saying.
Ingredients (serve 4 people)
200 g (7 oz) of all-purpose flour
60 g (2 oz) of grated Parmesan cheese and Parmesan flakes
40 ml (1.3 fl oz) of extra virgin olive oil
1 clove of garlic
1 cup of dry white wine
2 ladles of vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste
Mix the eggs with the flour until the dough becomes smooth and well blended. Cover with a plastic wrap and let it rest for at least 20 minutes. Meanwhile clean the artichokes and remove their outer and harder leaves. Peel the stems with a vegetable peeler. Divide the artichokes into halves lengthwise and remove their inner tassels, using a teaspoon. Then cut the artichoke halves into thin slices lengthwise. To finish with, cook them in a pan, on a gas hob, with oil, garlic and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste. As soon as the artichokes will have browned, pour the white wine and let it evaporate, then add a little broth and finish cooking. It will take about ten minutes. When the artichokes are cooked, roll out the dough with a rolling pin till it gets very thin, then wrap it around itself and cut it into irregular lozenges. Unwrap the lozenges and you will have your maltagliati. Let them dry, by spreading them over a lightly floured board. Take care that they do not overlap too much. Boil your maltagliati in salted water, drain them al dente and sauté them briefly in the pan with the sauce. Remove from heat and season them with grated Parmesan cheese. Garnish with a few leaves of parsley and Parmesan flakes, then serve hot.