There are many pasta shapes that we no longer see because, well, very few make their pasta from scratch anymore. With so many places selling pre-made fresh pasta, why would anyone want to spend time making it. Well, I do. There is something cathartic about spending time at my kitchen counter making fun shapes. So I started to do some research after growing bored of making the same old shapes, linguini, spaghetti, ravioli and parppardelle. I poured myself a glass of red wine and started to research pasta shapes online. I came across Pasta Grannies, and now I'm hooked. These lovely pasta gurus share their wisdom of pasta making through their YouTube channel. This particular shape was the first one I attempted after watching one of their videos. It is very simple to make and does wonderfully well tossed in a simple tomato sauce. The sauce finds its way into the taco like crease of each pasta which then explodes in your mouth when you bite down. It's fabulous.
According to the Granny du jour on Pasta Grannies, this pasta's nickname is Fingernails. These would be scary looking fingernails...but it's charming nevertheless.
100 grams of 00 flour
1 egg (per 100 grams of flour)
1 tablespoon olive oil (per 100 grams of flour)
a pinch of salt (per 100 grams of flour)
Standing metal grater (or try to find something like it to make the pattern on the pasta, see images for help)
A guzzle of olive oil (about 3 tablespoons)
1/2 onion (yellow or white)
1-2 garlic cloves crushed and peeled
1 can crushed organic tomatoes
1 cup chicken broth, veggie broth or water
A handful of basil leaves
salt and pepper to taste
1. In a bowl, place your flour and make a well in the middle.
2. Add egg(s), oil and salt. Using a fork break the eggs and start to combine the ingredients from the center to the outer edges. Use your hands to scrape the crumbly contents onto a floured surface and knead it until smooth.
3. Add a bit of water if the dough looks dry.
4. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and set aside for 20 minutes
Making the fingernail shape:
1. Take your pasta out of the film and knead it for a minute. Cut a piece off, about 1/2 cup's worth. Roll it out to look like a long rope about 1/2 inch in diameter.
2. Pinch a piece off (about the size of a large blueberry), flatten it in between your fingers and roll it across the inside of your grater. So that the pasta catches slightly in the dimples of the grater, therefore creating the pattern on each piece of pasta.
3. Repeat this until all the pasta is used up.
Cooking the fingernails:
1. Boil a large pot of water. Once boiling, add a good pinch of salt.
2. Cook pasta until tender.
1. Add oil to a medium sauce pan and heat on medium heat level
2. Add onions and garlic. Once translucent, add tomatoes
3. Add the basil and broth. Lower heat to a simmer
4. Cook until reduced by 25-30%. Add salt and pepper to taste.
5. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
6. Using a handheld emulsion blender, blitz the sauce until smooth
Pour sauce over pasta so it coats it nicely. This may mean that you will have sauce left. Don't dump the entire pot of sauce over the pasta. That's overkill. Sprinkle with some parmesan cheese or not.