It’s even colder today than yesterday with lots of freezing rain, so what’s a person to do? I decided to hunker down at home with a roaring fire in my tinello and make some delicious heartwarming ferretti pasta! Ferretti eggless pasta are a short thick pasta similar to bucatini, about 5-10 cm long.
Ferretti are made with flour and water; no eggs. For a half a kilogram of flour use 200 g of water, more or less. I use equal parts “00” or all purpose flour, and semolina flour. Mix all these ingredients together on a work surface, preferably a large wooden pasta board, and once they’re blended form a ball and keep the ball covered with a dish towel. Allow the dough to sit for a half an hour or so and then begin forming your ferretti.
There are two ways that you can shape the ferretti: you can take a piece of dough and roll it into it a long, and thin log. Then cut off 2 inch pieces, and gently roll the ferretto across each piece of dough. The piece of dough will flatten out and wrap itself around the ferretto. Slip it off and continue until you have made ferretti from all the dough.
So what’s a ferretto? It’s a long, thin piece of metal that’s more or less the length and width of a barbecue skewer. If you don’t have a ferretto then by all means use a metal skewer. You can buy a ferretto from Amazon Italy. They’re inexpensive, made of bronze (the best for pasta tools!) and well worth it!
The second way to make ferretti eggless pasta Is to take a piece of dough in your hands and rub it together until the dough is long and thin. Then use the ferretto to shape the ferretti.
I usually let them sit for a while to dry while I make the sauce, and this can be anything that strikes your fancy.
As this is a typical pasta from the Calabria, Puglia and Basilicata regions of Italy, I like to use a typical sauce from the area: ‘Ndruppeche.
This sauce is like a southern version of ragù bolognese or napoletano. First you sauté ground beef, pork, and other meats (your choice), in extra virgin olive oil and a little garlic. You then add abundant tomato sauce and let cook very slowly, usually for a few hours. The typical pork meat used is known as “salame pezzente”. It’s a local artisanal sausage flavored with hot red pepper, and fennel. It’s also traditional to add fresh peperoncino (hot red pepper) that has been dried and stored in olive oil to the sauce.
This is a delightfully fun pasta to make with children. It’s so easy for kids to take a little piece of pasta dough and roll it between their hands; however it comes out is great and they have the satisfaction of cooking with you!