Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Fusi Istriani Revisited

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 [2009].

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.


The above recipe serves 4 as a main course. I use an accordion dough cutter to create the strips and squares. If you have perfect squares, forming the shape takes very little effort. Although the fusi come together easily, you need to work quickly otherwise the pasta squares will dry out and resist sealing. (I cover the cut pasta squares with a towel until I form them.) Finally, I’ve made fusi istriani a number of times using Type 00 Pizza Flour from Central Milling in Logan, Utah. I like working with this flour, which makes delicious pasta.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


This site’s third guest Bunburyist—yes, she’s my youngest daughter—shared a favorite recipe for Pancakes (here):

She illustrated this recipe by Marion Cunningham using two characters she designed for her second year CalArt’s film. She recently finished this film and now we can see her dog in action making an omelette.

Omelette from Madeline Sharafian on Vimeo.

Those of you familiar with A Serious Bunburyist might recognize the poster at the end of Maddie’s film. Here it is again.

Congratulations on making a wonderful film, Maddie. And as I am oft to say: “That’ll do, pig. That’ll do.”