Torta di Tagliarini


Some say this cake was made using fresh thin strands of pasta in tribute to the beautiful hair of Lucrezia Borge, who married into the powerful ruling d’Este family, but every portrait I’ve seen of her shows her with dark hair!


  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons King Arthur™ Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup King Arthur™ Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup King Arthur™ cake flour
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 ounces slivered blanched almonds, processed into a powder
  • 6 ounces mixed candied fruit peels, diced
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup light cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract


  1. Butter a 9 or 10 1/2-X-3-inch deep springform pan, dust it with flour and set aside.
  2. For the pastry dough, place the flour, sugar, salt and butter in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade and pulse until the mixture looks mealy. Add the egg and process until a ball begins to form. Remove and gather dough together. Place in plastic wrap and chill at least an hour or overnight.
  3. On a floured surface, roll the pastry dough into an 18-inch diameter circle and line the pan, bringing the dough two inches up the sides. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. For the pasta, crack the eggs into a bowl of a food processor and pulse to break them up. With the motor running, add the flour and salt and allow a ball of dough to form. It should be soft, but not dry. Knead as for pasta. Let rest covered for 30 minutes.
  5. Mix almonds, candied peels, sugar and cocoa together in a bowl. In another bowl whisk the butter, egg, cream and almond extract together until blended. Stir the almond mixture into the butter mixture, blend well and set aside.
  6. Divide the pasta dough in half. Roll and cut dough on a pasta machine, using the vermicelli cut, or by hand into very thin strands. Lay the tagliatelline on towels and keep the strands separated.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  8. Scatter 1/3 of the noodles over the bottom of the pastry-lined pan. Spread the filling over the noodles. Scatter the remaining noodles over the top of the filling. Place a piece of buttered parchment paper over the top to prevent the noodles from drying out. Halfway through the baking, remove and discard the parchment paper.
  9. Bake until a cake skewer inserted into the center comes out clean and the pasta is golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes for 10-inch pan, 35-40 minutes for a 9-inch pan.
  10. Cool and cut into wedges to serve.
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