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Maltagliati pasta with tomato sauce and Parmigiano

Maltagliati pasta with tomato and Parmigiano

Maltagliati with tomato sauce is a dish of memory.
I remember them as strapponi, my husband as stianconi (the recipe for maltagliati is registered under this name at the Bologna Chamber of Commerce).

Once, it was the pasta of the peasant families of the Bolognese Apennines. It was a typical dish of the local cucina povera consisting of a sheet of eggs and flour that, before the tomato, was seasoned with garlic and potatoes.

The housewife would tear off the pieces of the pasta sheet with her hands, which she would throw directly into the pot of water boiling over the fireplace.

Leftover pasta dough and home cooking

Maltagliati pasta is today from leftover pasta dough. For that reason, they have different sizes and shapes.

After preparing the fresh pasta we would eat for Sunday lunch, Grandma put the leftover pasta dough to dry for the following use.

At home, it was the Monday dish. 

It made me happy to know when I returned from school, I would find maltagliati seasoned with tomato sauce, butter, and Parmigiano. In Italy, it is a dish like rice al pomodoro or spaghetti al Parmigiano, staple recipes that many Italians consider comfort food. 

Maltagliati al pomodoro, with that smell of fresh pasta and food served with simplicity, setting the kitchen table, is a small masterpiece of home cooking. It is a jump back in time to loving and caring arms.


Maltagliati pasta with tomato and Parmigiano

Maltagliati pasta with tomato sauce 

I had forgotten the taste of that pasta, capable of wrapping me in a warm blanket of fond memories.
Since I started to make pasta dough at home a few years ago, I have recovered gestures, memories, and recipes.

The return of maltagliati pasta to my table is fortuitous. I made a big pasta sheet and had lots of leftovers to use.

Suddenly, a memory broke through, and I saw myself again as a 13-year-old, testy, mumbling, disgruntled.
Coming home from school, I used to enter the kitchen nervous before I even knew what I would eat.
But with the leftover pasta dough, a little domestic miracle happened.

A cloud of fragrant vapor would enter the nose and descend the throat until it tickled the palate. The soft scraps of pasta dough, glossy with butter and tomato, made creamy by Parmigiano, were an invitation to let go, let down your defenses, and be happy.

The rumbling of the belly announced surrender. And, happy, I would let out a grateful smile.

Buona cucina, Monica

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Maltagliati pasta with tomato sauce

Maltagliati pasta with tomato and Parmigiano sauce

Maltagliati pasta is from leftover pasta dough. For that reason, they have different sizes and shapes (the word maltagliati means badly cut). It is a traditional pasta in Emilia-Romagna and you can eat in broth or seasoned with a sauce
Course Pasta
Cuisine Bolognese
Keyword Pasta fresca
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 5 minutes
Servings 4 serves


Pasta dough

  • 2 eggs
  • 200 00 flour

Tomato and Parmigiano Sauce

  • 100 g butter
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 300 g tomato sauce
  • 100 ml water
  • salt to taste
  • 80 g grated Parmigiano
  • 1 ladle pasta cooking water


Pasta dough

  • Place the flour (in a bowl or) on a clean surface, forming a small mountain.
  • Make a wide well with your fist in the center of the flour and add the eggs.
  • Using a fork, gradually incorporate the flour into the well in a circular motion until large breadcrumbs form.
  • From this point on, knead the dough on a clean surface with hands and wrists, imparting a motion that pushes the mixture forward. Knead the dough for about 15 minutes until the mixture is smooth and soft but not sticky.
  • Wrap the dough tightly in plastic and allow it to rest for at least 30 minutes and up to several hours at room temperature. If storing overnight, refrigerate and bring back up to room temperature before use.

Pasta Sheet

  • After resting, flour lightly the cutting board and dough.
  • Flatten the ball with the palm of your hand and begin rolling out the pasta dough, starting from the center toward the sides and rotating it continuously (at least at first) to impart a regular shape.
  • When it becomes wide, wrap the sheet around the rolling pin to rotate it.
  • Roll it out thinly and then cut out pieces of sheets of different shapes and sizes with a pasta wheel.
  • Let rest the pasta for at least 30 minutes or overnight out of the refrigerator, placing the maltagliati on a floured tray.

Tomato and Parmigiano Sauce & Pasta

  • Melt the butter with a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan over a low flame and a medium-small stove.
  • Add the tomato sauce, water and salt. Stir and cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, then lower the heat to low, cook another 2 minutes, turn off the stove, add Parmigiano by sprinkling and cover with a lid.
  • Cook the maltagliati al dente in boiling salted water. Set aside a ladle of the pasta cooking water.
  • Transfer the maltagliati to the saucepan a little at a time with a skimmer. Stir the pasta with a spoon to cover it with the tomato sauce. If you prefer to make the sauce more fluid, add the pasta cooking water a little at a time.
  • Close the pan with the lid, and cook for 3 minutes on medium flame and a small stove. Serve it.
  • Store maltagliati in the refrigerator for a few days and in the freezer for a few weeks. Also, keep any leftover seasoned maltagliati in the refrigerator for up to two days.

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Bologna's recipes

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