Homemade pasta spirals

Homemade pasta spirals

Fusilli fatti in casa

The Amalfi Coast
Helen Cathcart

Fusilli were supposedly created in 1550 by the chef to the Grand Duke of Tuscany. Legend says that when he was kneading the pasta he dropped a piece on the floor. To amuse himself, his son picked it up and rolled it around a knitting needle. His father was so impressed by the shape he cooked it! When times were hard the eggs were left out of this recipe but including them does improve the taste, even if it makes you a little poorer! Originally these shapes were made around a knitting needle called a fuso, but any long, thin shape will do, such as a skewer. This type of pasta is often made with semola rimacinata di grano duro, which is fine durum wheat semolina.


Quantity Ingredient
300g fine semolina flour
3 egg yolks
50ml water
1 teaspoon salt


  1. Pour the semolina flour into a bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the egg yolks and water. Use a knife to swirl the eggs and water together, incorporating the flour as you go. Gradually work this in, adding a li…ttle more water if necessary until you get a firm ball of dough. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and allow it to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  2. Aftˆer this time pinch off a walnut-size piece of dough, keeping the rest covered. Over a wooden chopping board, use your palms to roll it into a length that is 5 mm wide.
  3. Dust a knitting needle with flour and wind this length around it in a long spiral, then roll onto the wooden board to flatten it slightly. Gently slide it off and set aside. Repeat until you have finished the dough. The lengths can be left. long, like spaghetti, or cut shorter as you wish.
  4. Alternatively, use a pasta machine to produce 20 cm lengths of tagliatelle on the setting before last on the rollers. Toss them in flour. Pierce the end of a length of tagliatelle with the tip of a wooden skewer to hold it in place and gently wind it around the length of the skewer. Do not roll it flat as above, as tagliatelle are already flat, but gently ease it off the skewer and set aside on a surface dusted with flour. Cut into 3 short lengths or leave as they are.
  5. Bring a large pan of well-salted water to the boil. Drop in the fusilli. They will need 4–7 minutes cooking time, depending on their thickness, until they are al dente. Toss into your favourite sauce and enjoy the fruits of your labour.
The AmalfiCoast
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