We have all seen the charming bags of artisanal pasta arranged in pretty little nests, and probably too many of us have passed them by, unsure of what to do with them in our own kitchens.
First, it’s important to ensure that the pasta you choose is truly artisanal. Small batch, made with love, made in Italy, and made by hand.
These special pastas are crafted with the highest quality ingredients. Recipes can vary by region, town, and nonna, but usually they combine semolina wheat flour and farm fresh eggs.
Italian artisanal pastas get their famous texture from this semolina wheat and the bronze cutting method that enhances it further.
That texture is not only delicious, but it also allows each noodle to hold and absorb the flavors in the sauce.
One bite of a truly Italian pasta and its texture is recognizable. Suddenly you’re back in Brunate, ogling views of Lake Como over your tagliatelle and Nebbiolo. Amazing, the power of a flavor to carry us across oceans and cultures!
So, once we understand the importance of authenticity, why the birds nest shape over the many others to choose from?
Leave it to Italy to give us not only exquisite flavors, but beautiful presentation as well!
With this pasta variety, you can cook it two ways: gently boiling the little nests whole or stirring more consistently to separate the strands.
Of course, for presentation they are beautiful served as the whole nest, nido, they say in Italian. You can fill them with a few little “eggs” of mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, olives, capers, whatever you like. Get creative and have fun with it!
Some people prefer the nests separated so the pasta piles together in its regular shape. In this case, the nests are convenient for achieving the perfect portions for each person.
I’ll never forget during my first semester of Italian, our beautiful and always impeccably dressed professoressa from Urbino told us it’s perfectly healthy to eat pasta every day!
The problem, as she explained, is that so many Americans are used to Americanized pasta. A gigantic plate of low-quality noodles swimming in greasy sauces is what we’ve come to know as, “Italian food”. But, true Italian cuisine is much lighter than many of us expect.
She told us, “Eat the pasta every day and it gives you energy for life!” But, only a small amount, and only quality pasta with fresh ingredients.
That is where this bird’s nest shape really comes in handy! It is the perfect way to serve an excellent pasta that will wow your family, your guests, or simply yourself in its presentation, flavor, and perfect portion size.
The next time you decide to cook for family and friends, try one of these: Michelis Egidio Fettuccini Egg Pasta, Michelis Tagliolini Dry Egg Pasta or Spighe Molisane Durum Wheat Semolina Tagliatelle Nidi.
Drop each nest carefully into the salted, boiling water and carefully remove them after two to three minutes as instructed on the package. Serve with a delicate pomodoro sauce topped with fresh basil leaves and a touch of fresh mozzarella in the center! What’s a nest without its bocconcini eggs, after all?
Most of all, enjoy! Get creative and who knows what culinary masterpieces these little nests might inspire you to create! Buon Appetito!
Would you like to try a recipe straight from our pasta makers' kitchen? Click the link for Michelis' deliciously authentic pasta with porcini mushrooms. Translated into English below:
250 g of Tagliolini Michelis
300 g of porcini mushrooms
a handful of parsley
white wine q.b.
a clove of garlic
Clean the mushrooms and cut them into thin strips. In a pan, brown the garlic with the extra virgin olive oil, add the parsley and sauté the mushrooms. Pour some white wine and cook over low heat until the wine evaporates and the sauce reaches the right consistency. Cook the tagliolini in plenty of salted water, drain and let them cook in the pan. Serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a few parsley leaves. Enjoy your meal!