What is precisely garganelli?
Garganelli comes from the Latin “gargala,” and it means trachea since this lovely handmade pasta from Romagna resembles that particular anatomic part.
We will start telling you what garganelli are not: they are not penne, not the handmade version of penne. It’s like comparing cats and panthers. Yeah, both share the same family, are cute, black, feline, and irresistibly fluffy, but that’s all: a real chef would never confuse or compare the two.
Penne is dry pasta made with water and flour, garganelli are crafty fresh egg pasta made one by one, rolling them on a tool called “Pettine,” a kind of weaving loom. You can also use a gnocchi stripper, but it’s not the same thing.
In practice, you make egg dough, cut it into squares of 2 cm, then roll them up with the help of a stick and gnocchi stripper, so to seal them on themselves.
Traditionally they are cooked in beef broth and served dusted with abundant Parmigiano Reggiano. But you make them also with Bolognese ragù or, as in this case, with pancetta (bacon) and shallots.
Garganelli come from Romagna, to be precise two cities claim their paternity: Imola, near Bologna, and Lugo di Romagna, in the province of Ravenna. The recipe is the same for both. The only difference is a sprinkle of nutmeg in the dough from Lugo’s recipe.
Ingredients for making the authentic garganelli
For garganelli dough
- 3 eggs
- 300 grams of 00 flour
- a sprinkle of nutmeg, optional
For the bacon and shallot dressing
- 400 grams of Romagna shallots
- 2 leeks
- 150 grams of pancetta or bacon
- 1 glass of white wine
- extra virgin olive oil, 6 spoons
- salt and pepper to taste
How to make the authentic Italian garganelli recipe
You have to make a great “sfoglia” to make garganelli. It’s not so easy, so that we won’t say only mix flour and eggs and make the dough. Try this egg dough recipe created by a great Italian chef. So take your time and take it easy. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Now, let’s get back to our garganelli. Cut dough into strips and then squares 2.5 cm wide.
Now comes in the gnocchi stripper. Dust it with some flour, take a square of sfoglia picking it from a corner, roll around the stick.
A little advice: the stick should not be parallel to the side of the square.
Press slightly on the gnocchi stripper to seal and mark each garganello, but be quick to prevent that sfoglia from getting dried.
As you make garganelli, put them on a wooden board dusted with flour and let them rest for a couple of hours. You can freeze them, too, if you want to fill the galley.
Now about the shallot and bacon dressing. This is super easy.
Cut bacon into cubes and fry it in a pan.
Slice leeks and wash them. Peel and cut shallots.
When bacon is crunchy, take it away.
Stir-fry shallots and leeks in the same pan, adding a little bit of olive oil, sprinkle moderately with salt and pepper.
Add white wine and let it evaporate; continue cooking for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook garganelli in plenty of salted water, drain al dente, and toss in the pan with the sauce to finish.
If pasta is too dry (hey, don’t dare to use vegan bacon!), add a spoon of butter.
And now you are ready to serve one of the most delicious yet straightforward Italian pasta dishes.
Final note: they are called garganelli Romagnoli, not Bolognesi. Garganelli Bolognesi doesn’t exist.
What wines go well with garganelli with shallots and bacon?
Let’s choose a fresh white wine with good saltiness to tame bacon’s grease but at the same time round enough to create a good harmony with the gentle shallot flavor. Let’s uncork a nifty Pignoletto from Branchini winery, a wine with an elegant nose full of flowers and herby notes. Champagne, Prosecco, or Trentodoc are great if you want to pair some bubbles.
Negroni is perfect if you want to pair a cocktail.