Lascute (quadratini / quadrucci in Italian) are the adorable small pasta that my grandmother used to make when I was a child. They are nothing else but some tiny squares with 5 mm side length. They are so delicious in chicken soups, tomato or bean-based soups. They are really easy to make, they require just a few things: some flour, salt and eggs. You also need a rolling pin, a sharp knife and some spare time. I like to make a large batch and I dry them overnight. Once nice and dry, they last for weeks.
For this pasta recipe I use all-purpose white flour, chicken or duck eggs and Himalayan salt. Chicken eggs make some delicious homemade pasta, but duck eggs simply elevate the dish. Duck eggs are higher in fat, compared to chicken eggs, which improves both the texture and the taste of the pasta. Also, duck eggs have a higher yolk to white ratio than chicken eggs, which provides a more vibrant color to the final product.
Why I love lascute pasta:
- they taste amazing in almost every soup
- they are made from natural ingredients
- when dried and store properly, they last for weeks
- they are tastier than store-bought pasta
- let’s be honest, they are incredibly cute
- 200g all-purpose white flour (+ 50g for dusting the dough)
- 2 large chicken eggs (2 x 60g) / 2 medium duck eggs
- ½ tsp salt
- Place the flour on the clean working surface and make a well in the center. Add the beaten eggs and the salt and mix with a fork, until almost all the flour is incorporated in the egg mixture.
- Leave the fork aside and use your fingers to form a dough ball. Knead the dough vigorously for 10 minutes, or until the surface becomes smooth.
- Wrap it in plastic foil at let it rest in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes take the dough out from the fridge, cut it in half and form 2 smaller balls (this way it’ll be easier to work the dough). Use the same cling film to warp one ball and leave it aside.
- Place the second ball on the floured working surface. Roll the dough using a rolling pin from the center towards the border, until you get a thin sheet of dough. This might take a good 10 minutes (picture). Sprinkle the sheet of dough with flour and let it dry for about 30 minutes.
- Take the second ball and roll it exactly in the same way.
- Cut the lascute. Roll the first sheet of dough (the dried one) on the rolling pin, cut it lengthwise and leave the rolling pin aside. At this point you should look at about 5 rectangles situated one on top of the other. Fold one side of the rectangles over the other side and cut the dough into 5 mm thick ribbons. Take about 6 – 7 ribbons at a time, rotate them and star cutting the little squares (pictures).
- Dust your hands with flour and start separating the lascute.
- Place them on a wooden board (or a large plate) and let them dry overnight. When they are completely dry, place them in paper bags and store them in the pantry.