Evan Funke and Katie Parla’s American Sfoglino: A Masterclass in Handmade Pasta is a book you will want to have as a hardcopy and maybe also as an ebook. It is an aspirational cookbook, with it’s beautiful photography. If you aspire to make pasta at home without a pasta maker, it is also a very practical cookbook. Through photography and description, Funke shows how to make some of the master doughs and pasta shapes of Bologna. If all you want to do is dream and look at beautiful pictures of food, this book has you covered too.
Funke is a two time James Beard Award winning chef and the co-owner of Felix Trattoria. He is also known for #fuckyourpastamachine on Instagram. His Instagram is great. If you are into pasta. Which I am.
Sfoglia is a pasta from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. It’s rolled out by hand until it’s paper thin and then can be cut into a variety of shapes. If you look at the Instagram post below, you will notice that you can SEE THE WOODGRAIN THROUGH THE PASTA. While making Sfoglia does not require a pasta machine, it does require some tools. Funke walks through them and states what you need if you want to make pasta regularly and what you can use if you are an occasional pasta maker. A wine bottle and a regular counter top are fine. He explains why you need that 00 flour and not all purpose.
Even with a very good book, it takes time and practice to get good at pasta making. If you love to cook, it’s worth practicing. American Sfoglino may encourage and inspire you to try and try again.