In Piedmontese cuisine, pasta dishes play a key role in creating a culinary tradition known throughout the world. Soups, risottos, but above all fresh pasta. Whether it is stuffed or not, it does not change the essence of what makes up a dish that is a staple on local tables. The shapes are among the most varied and combine their poor, peasant origins with the opulent styles of noble courts.
One of the most iconic dishes is the famous agnolotto del plin, which owes its name to the pinch you do when you close the dough around the filling. Typical of the Langhe area, traditionally served with butter and sage but also with gravy and ragù. There is no shortage of ravioli, either filled with meat or ricotta cheese, between the regions of Piemonte and Liguria. Less well known but highly appreciated are also the Valvaraita ravioles, which, in spite of their name, are gnocchi typical of the mountain area in the province of Cuneo.
One pasta shape that is certainly never lacking is tajarin. Widespread and native to the territory of Langhe Roero and Monferrato, it has now conquered all palates. A pasta with an intense yellow color, given by the significant presence of egg yolks. Also called taglierini, they are long and thin. They go well with full-bodied sauces such as gravy, but also with the delicate notes of butter accompanied by White Truffle of Alba. In addition, tajarin has a rough texture that allows the sauce to bind well with the pasta so that nothing is left on the plate.
Tajarin originated in the farmsteads of the Langhe and Monferrato. Around the 15th century, it was customary to make this fresh pasta on feast days, such as Sundays or important occasions. A festive recipe due specifically to the large number of egg yolks it contains. In fact, tradition calls for at least one yolk for every 100 grams of flour. the famous 40-yolk version calls for exactly 40 yolks for every kilogram of flour. this very last element varies according to the area of origin. While the classic one calls for 00 flour, in some areas, such as Ceresole d'Alba, corn flour is also used.
Such a tasty dish was bound to be appreciated, even by King Vittorio Emanuele II, who particularly loved them seasoned with butter, lard, cream, cheese, sweetbreads, white wine, onion and cooked ham. It is the women, as is often the case, who have jealously guarded this recipe for many centuries. A family tradition that sees its transition from the peasant to the industrial arena throughout history, but has never lost its ability to unite.
Following the original recipe, tajarin should be prepared exclusively by hand: pasta rolled out with a rolling pin and then cut with a knife. Even the seasoning has rules that must be respected. The women of the Langhe and Monferrato had their own secrets, often consisting of flavorings and herbs. The sauce tended to be made with chicken or rabbit offal, but also veal ragù and truffles. Even today these details are respected and, as tradition dictates, tajarin is a festive recipe that is always enjoyed by families on Sundays and during holidays.