In 2012, I wrote about fusi istriani, an origami-like shaped pasta from Italy’s Friuli-Venezia Giulia region. Working with a small dowel and some triangular-shaped pieces of pasta, I created a close approximation of the shape illustrated in Oretta Zanini De Vita’s Encyclopedia of Pasta .
I ended my fusi istriani post with a passing reference to a variant created by wrapping a small piece of square pasta around the handle of a wooden spoon (or, traditionally, a spindle) to form a penne-like pasta. During my research, I found more references to and images of this tubular fusi than its shapely triangular counterpart. Although both shapes come together quickly once you get the hang of making them, you can make the tubular version more quickly and without a dowel, spoon handle or spindle. Here’s the process I followed.
1. Sift 300 grams 00 flour into a work bowl. Add 3 large eggs and mix the dough until it comes together into a rough ball.
2. Turn the dough out of the bowl onto a work surface and knead the dough for approximately 10 minutes. Wrap the kneaded dough in plastic and let it rest on the work surface for 20 to 30 minutes.
3. Cut the dough into quarters. Working with one-quarter of the dough at a time (keeping the remaining dough wrapped in plastic), roll the dough to a thickness of approximately 1 mm. (I roll the dough to setting 3 on an Imperia 220.)
4. Cut the pasta sheets lengthwise into 1½-inch strips. Cut the strips into 1½-inch squares. Working with one square at a time, fold opposite corners of the pasta square together over the square’s center and pinch to seal. Place the formed pasta on a baking pan dusted with semolina flour, taking care that the fusi do not touch one another. Repeat with the remaining squares. Roll, cut and form the remaining dough.
5. Cook the fusi istriani in a large pot full of salty, boiling water. Test the pasta about 2 to 3 minutes after the salted water returns to a boil. When the pasta loses its raw taste yet is still firm to the bite, drain and add the cooked pasta into your ready sauce—fusi istriani is traditionally served with a chicken sugo—and cook the pasta and sauce together for a minute or so.