THE SCIALATIELLI, A VERY SPECIAL HANDMADE FRESH PASTA
“It’s good having the scialatiello with everyone, but most importantly … it's good for everyone!”. Let's go and discover the original recipe of this very special fresh pasta!
by Barbara Iovine
The Amalfi Coast is the ideal destination for the summer holidays, chosen not only for its crystalline sea but also for its traditional and innovative culinary culture. Whether you crave sweet or salty food, a quick snack, or a full meal, you will always be satisfied!
Today, I want to tell you about a quite recent but already well-known dish, which is a cornerstone of the Amalfi tradition: the scialatielli. I am sure I will make your mouth water!
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The origin of the name “Scialatiello”
The scialatielli are a particularly shaped kind of fresh pasta that is recognized in Italy as a traditional food product. They were created in 1976 thanks to the genius of the Amalfitan chef Enrico Cosentino, after a study that lasted for about 6 months. Nonetheless, the new handmade pasta format became famous in 1978 when the chef won the Entremetier Prize with its creation at the International Culinary Contest.
What about the origin of the name “Scialatiello”? It is interesting to know that there are two different theories about it and both concern the Neapolitan dialect. The first considers the union of the terms “scialare”, that is “to enjoy”, and “tiella”, which means “pan” that come together into scialatielli; the second, on the other hand, focuses on “sciglià”, that is “ruffled”, because the pasta looks like ruffled hair when set in a dish.
However, whatever its etymology may be, it is impossible not to appreciate its intense flavor. It is a triumph of taste and substance.
A very versatile first course
Although it is easy nowadays to find the scialatielli as an industrial production format, they are undoubtedly tastier when made by hand. The production process is easy to follow. You just need to mix: flour, eggs, milk, extra virgin olive oil, cheese, chopped basil, black pepper, and salt. Their shape may resemble the one of the tagliatelle pasta even if it is a lot thicker and more irregular since the dough is cut into strips about 10-12 cm long. You can easily make them at home, without too much effort.
They are a very versatile first course because of their roughness. As a matter of fact, This handmade fresh pasta goes well with simple sauces such as tomato and basil, and they are also impeccable with condiments based on mushrooms, sausage, and even with more decisive flavors such as the turnip greens. Yet, the best way to enjoy scialatielli is “all’amalfitana”, with typical seafood, as chef Cosentino said.
The scialatielli become true poetry when savored in front of the spectacular panorama of the Amalfi Coast. Their texture wins over any palate thanks to their capacity to absorb with voracity every kind of sauce they are paired with and to offer an unexpected explosion of flavor.
In my opinion, the lucky ones who choose to go to the Amalfi Coast should not waste the opportunity to taste the very local specialty: the scialatielli all'amalfitana.
When your stay on the Amalfi Coast is over, and you want to experience again the joy of a plate of scialatielli, try making them yourself at home. It will be a fun and delicious way to share your magical holiday with your friends and family.
- 1 kg of plain flour
- 2 medium eggs
- 300-500 gr of milk (depending on how much it’s needed)
- 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
- fresh basil, approximately 15 basil leaves
- 10 gr of salt
- 30 gr Parmigiano cheese
- 20 gr Pecorino cheese
- a sprinkle of freshly ground pepper
Mix all the ingredients together working by hand and add the milk a little at a time until the dough is smooth. Leave it to rest for 30 minutes and then roll out the dough and cut it into strips about 10-12 cm long. Cook for 5 minutes in salted boiling water.
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