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The Secret Behind Italy’s Rarest Pasta

Paola Abraini is one of three women left in the world who can make su filindeu, which makes it the rarest pasta in the world. The family has passed down the technique for hundreds of years, but the recipe is no secret. There were once many women in the town of Nuoro, Sardinia, who made su filindeu for the Feast of San Francesco, when pilgrims traditionally eat a soup of su filindeu in mutton broth. Abraini would love to teach others how to make it, but the process is one that you can’t learn in an afternoon. It takes years of practice. First, you make pasta dough from semolina wheat, salt, and water, and knead it. 

Then comes the hardest part, a process she calls, “understanding the dough with your hands.” When she feels that it needs to be more elastic, she dips her fingers into a bowl of salt water. When it needs more moisture, she dips them into a separate bowl of regular water. “It can take years to understand,” she beamed. “It’s like a game with your hands. But once you achieve it, then the magic happens.”

When the semolina reached just the right consistency, Abraini picked up the cylindrical strand to stretch and fold the dough, doubling it as she pressed the heads of the su filindeu into her palms. She repeated this sequence in a fluid motion eight times. With each sweeping pull, the dough became thinner and thinner. After eight sequences, she was left with 256 even strands about half as wide as angel-hair pasta. She then carefully laid the strands on a circular base, one on top of another, to form a cross, trimming any excess from the ends with her fingers before repeating the process over and over.

The result is a fine noodle, thinner than angel hair. Because the pasta is in danger of dying out, it has recently become available at restaurants in Sardinia. Read about su filindeu at BBC Travel.  -via the Presurfer


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ikr? the world would be better off without any craftsmen or craftsmanship at all. everyone should drive yugos and eat at mcdonalds. we should all wear 2$ plastic watches from china, and get our clothes from the dollar store even if we have a lot of money. these people with their years of training and practice, their high quality materials and ingredients! just who do they think they are, and how gullible do they think we are? sheeesh.
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