Salvatore Elefante adds a delicious twist to his pasta dish, with the inclusion of a fresh tuna tartare and a silky aubergine purée. A tart cherry tomato sauce adds extra flavour, with some creamy burrata and fragrant basil to serve.

Tagliolini with tuna, aubergine cream and burrata

Chef: Salvatore Elefante

Cooking time: 1 hour, plus 1 hour resting

Serves: 6

Course: Starter

Skill level: Medium

Ingredients:

Pasta:

  • 700g of semolina flour
  • 300g of flour “00”
  • 400g of egg yolks
  • 4 eggs
  • 20g of salt
  • 30g of olive oil

Aubergine:

  • 1 aubergine
  • 10g garlic
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • olive oil
  • salt

Tomato sauce:

  • 300g plum tomatoes

To serve:

  • 300g of tuna
  • 180g of burrata, sliced
  • 30g of bottarga
  • a handful of fresh basil, chopped

Equipment:

  • blender
  • pasta machine

Method:

  1. To make the pasta, add all the ingredients to a food processor fitted with a dough hook/blade and knead until the dough is smooth and pliable. Cover and leave to rest for an hour
  2. Flatten the dough slightly, then use a pasta machine to roll it out into thin sheets (you may need to do this in batches). Using blade attachment, or a sharp knife, cut the sheets into long thin strips for the tagliolini
  3. Take portions of the tagliolini (about 110g) and use a fork to twirl these into nests. Place the nests on a flat tray and place in the freezer to firm up
  4. Peel the aubergine and cut into large cubes. Heat a little of the oil (about a tablespoon) in a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the aubergine until cooked. Season well
  5. In a separate pan sweat down the garlic with the thyme leaves in another tablespoon of olive oil, then mix together with the aubergine. Bliz in a blender until smooth, then pass through a fine sieve and reserve
  6. Preheat the grill to medium-high. Cut the tomatoes in half for the sauce, spread out on a tray or grill pan and grill until completely cooked. Transfer to a blender and blitz until smooth
  7. Finely chop the tuna to make a tartare, then mix half of it with the aubergine purée. Reserve the remaining tuna for serving
  8. When ready to serve, cook the pasta nests in a large pan of boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain well through a colander and mix the cooked pasta with the aubergine and tuna mix and the fresh basil
  9. Warm the tomato sauce through and swirl some over each serving plate. Twist the pasta on to the plate, then top with some slices of the burrata and remaining tuna tartare. Finish with a sprinkling of bottarga, and perhaps a sprig of basil and a dried chilli to serve

Recipe courtesy of chef Salvatore Elefante. Launching soon Great Italian Chefs showcases the best culinary talent that Italy has to offer. Visit Great Italian Chefs for more recipes and features for Italy’s most exciting chefs.

The wine

Salvatore’s takes Tagliolini to a whole new level; his subtle, complex flavours with variations on texture make this dish a hard one to get the perfect wine pair.

Decanter recommends sticking to crisp whites or delicate rosé wines; light reds might work well with the tomato element but we’ve decided is too much of a risk with the tuna tartare, soft cheese and aubergine.

Seek out top Grüner Veltliner from Austria; refreshing, tangy, slightly spicy and sometimes possessing creaminess, it will bring the Tuna and Aubergine to life whilst enhancing the burrata rather than swamping it with other flavours. With the right Grüner, you may get close to food and wine utopia. – Harry Fawkes, Decanter.com