Bow ties with pancetta and pea shoots

So Sunday pasta has been missing for a while. I bring it back today with bow ties. Bow ties (farfalle) are a little funky shape that kids love. They are also pretty flexible and can be eaten with a lot of sauces, but they go best with “piece-y” sauces so they are often used to make pasta salads.

I love them with peas and ham. That is one comfort dish I used to love as a kid. Here I propose a spin on this pasta. I swapped peas with pea shoots, pancetta for ham and yogurt for heavy whipping cream. The result is an adult version of my childhood favorite.

Bow ties with pancetta and pea shoots

Bow ties with pancetta and pea shoots

Ingredients

bow ties

    • 2 eggs
    • 7 oz whole wheat flour
    • pinch salt

sauce

  • pea shoots
  • 2 oz. pancetta
  • 2 tbsp greek yogurt

Directions

bow ties

    1. Place the flour on a table and create a large well in the middle of the whole wheat flour. Crack the egg in the well, add salt and quickly mix in the flour. The dough will rapidly come together in a smooth and relatively tough mass. Knead the dough until all the flour has been incorporated, adding a bit of salt if needed and the dough looks smooth. Place the dough under a bowl for 10 minutes or so to rest so that the gluten can relax.
    2. While the dough is resting set up your work station. Place a large wooden board on the table, get a table knife and get a couple of cookies cooling rack that you will use for drying the pasta. If you don’t have the cooling racks, you can use a couple of kitchen towels.
    3. Roll out the dough thinly. You can use a rolling pin or a pasta machine and you should end up with an almost transparent sheet of pasta.

    1. With a knife cut the dough in rectangles (about 1×2 in). Pinch each rectangle in the middle to get a bow tie.
    2. Place on the racks to dry.
    3. Cook the pasta in a lot of salted boiling water. It will cook very quickly (~90 seconds) so wait to cook until the sauce is almost ready.

Sauce

  1. Dice the pancetta and place in a pan. Turn on the heat and let the pancetta render its fat. When the fat is well rendered drain some of the fat.
  2. Add the pea shoots and the yogurt, mix well and quickly turn off the fire.
  3. Cook the pasta, drain it and dress it with the sauce.
  4. Serve hot and enjoy your homemade bow ties.

Testaroli Recipe

After a long break, I am bringing back Sunday pasta. And today I am proposing a rather unusual pasta: testaroli. Testaroli are typical of Liguria and in some ways they are closer to pancakes than to your usual pasta.

To make testaroli you make a batter of flour and water and then cook them in a pan like a pancake. After that, you take the “pancakes” cut them and warm them up in boiling water like you would do for gnocchi.

Since they are typical from Liguria, their traditional dressing is basil pesto. Better if home made.

Hope you will like them! I sure did!

#SundayPasta: testaroli

Ingredients

For testaroli:

    • 1/4 lb semolina flour
    • 1/4 lb all purpose flour
    • 1 cup whater

To dress:

  • 1/4 cup pesto

Directions

  1. Prepare the testaroli by mixing the flours with the water to obtain a batter with a consistency similar to the one of pancakes.
  2. Make testaroli by pouring the batter in a hot pan. Cook the testaroli for about 1 minute on each side or until they come off the pan cleanly. This much batter makes about 3-4 testaroli.
  3. Let the testaroli cool down and then cut them in roboidal shapes.
  4. To eat them, warm them up in boiling water. They are ready when they start floating.
  5. Fish them out and dress with pesto. Serve warm.

3.1

Panissa with seafood

The other day I was surfing the blogs of my friends to see what the have been up too, and I stumbled into a post by Barbara on panissa. I was immediately fascinated and decided to duplicate the dish and put my own twist on it.

Panissa is a chickpea puree of sort that can be spread in a thin layer and used as lasagne. As soon as I have seen chickpeas, I have started thinking that seafood would be an ideal complement. So off I went to buy seafood. And then I prepared my version of panissa.

It turns out pretty good. The layer of panissa is creamy and it molds perfectly into the luscious bechamel. The parsley gives it a fresh taste and the mushrooms and seafood make for a great flavor and texture combination.

#SundayPasta: Panissa with seafood

#SundayPasta: Panissa with seafood

Ingredients

Panissa

    • 4 oz. chickpea flour
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 tbsp olive oil

Filling

  • 1 cup seafood medley (clams, mussels, shrimp, scallops, calamari + fish scraps if you have them)
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup homemade bechamel
  • 1/4 cup soaked dried mushrooms
  • minced parsley
  • white wine
  • Olive oil
  • Salt

Directions

Panissa:

    1. Combine the flour, olive oil and water wisking well to avoid lumps. Place in a no stick pot and cook for about 30 minutes, mixing often to prevent it from sticking to the pan.
    2. Pour the cooked panissa on a wooden board and smooth it out to a thin 1/2 inch layer. You can place a bit of saran paper on top of the panissa and use a rolling pin to smooth it out.
    3. Let the dough cool down.

Filling:

  1. Cook the seafood in a bit of olive oil, adding a bit of wine half way through cooking. When cooked, drain the water and set apart.
  2. Cook the mushrooms in a bit of olive oil adding the seafood water as needed to stew the mushrooms. Salt to taste.
  3. Mix the cooked mushrooms and seafood and add the parsley.
  4. Assemble the lasagna. Place a layer of panissa on the bottom of an oven pan, add a bit more than 1/3 of the seafood and mushrooms and drizzle the bechamel on top of it. Layer with another layer of panissa and some more seafood, mushrooms and bechamel, finish with a layer of panissa and a bit of mushroom and seafood and bechamel.
  5. Cook in the oven at 375F for about 30 minutes. Broil for the last few minutes to get a nice crust.
  6. Serve hot.

3.1

Cocoa and gorgonzola ravioli

So a couple of weeks ago Bf’s sister told me about a recipe she made for a dinner with friends. It was home made cocoa pasta dressed with a Gorgonzola based sauce. It got stuck in my head, the way a song does. I don’t know if it happens to you too, but to me it happens quite often. I see something or I get a craving and my mind starts racing and I just have to cook it.

So, I have been thinking about cocoa pasta and blue cheese for a while and yesterday I finally found the time to prepare it. Only I transformed it into ravioli. One of the reasons I decided to go with ravioli, is that I have been meaning to try this technique for cooking ravioli that Teresa of Scatti Golosi suggested in one of her recipes. She observed that, when not cooked immediately, ravioli have a tendency of drying out around the edges and, even worst, going soft in the middle where the filling is. And she found a way of solving the problem.

Cocoa Ravioli with Gorgonzola

The trick is pretty simple, but is also life changing  Parboil the ravioli for a few seconds as you make them, let them dry out and store them in the fridge until you are ready to cook them. Easy enough right? And you get some perfect ravioli. And just like the ones you buy per-packaged, they are ready to be cooked whenever you want. Convenient right?

#SundayPasta: cocoa and gorgonzola ravioli

Ingredients

For the pasta:

    • 2 eggs
    • 1 tbsp unswetened cocoa powder
    • 6 oz. AP flower

For the filling:

    • 2 oz. gorgonzola or other blue cheese
    • 2 oz. ricotta

For the sauce

  • 1/2 pear
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • sage
  • butter
  • salt

Directions

For the pasta

    1. Mix all the ingredients and knead them into a smooth dough adding more flour or a bit of water if needed. Place the dough to rest under a bowl for 30 min or so.

For the filling

    1. Blend the ricotta and the gorgonzola together to get a smooth paste.
    2. Place a pot of water on the stove and bring it to a boil.
    3. Assemble the ravioli. I rolled out the pasta to the thinnest setting and then used a ravioli mold like this, but you can use freform the ravioli or use a round or square cookie cutter too.
    4. As the ravioli are ready, cook them in the boiling water for 10-20 seconds. Fish the ravioli out and place on a board covered with a towel or on a cookie rack to dry. Turn them around a couple of times to make sure they dry out on all sides.
    5. Once the ravioli are well dried, place them in the fridge until you are ready to cook them.

For the sauce:

  1. Cook the ravioli in boiling water. In the meantime, melt the butter in a pan until brown. Add the sage, the diced pear and the walnuts. Salt to taste.
  2. Dress the ravioli with the sauce and serve them hot.

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