Farfalle with Smoked Salmon Sauce

What’s your pasta personality?

Originally appeared in the September 9, 2010 edition of the Southside Times.

Pasta, in part, represents a sort of anarchic and independent spirit of Italy.  I like that.  Not just because it’s a spirit that’s endured, but because it’s a pleasantly contrarian attitude that staunchly clings to hundreds of different regional traditions and cuisines.  Farfalle—also known as bow-tie pasta—is just one of those hundreds of varieties of pastas.  Read more after the jump: (more…)

Published in: on September 9, 2010 at 4:51 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Spaghetti Alio-Olio

Serves 5-6

  • 16 ounces dry spaghetti
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 ounces pitted, sliced black olives
  • 1 ½ ounces olive oil
  • 4 ounces shredded Parmesan
  • To taste kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • Chopped fresh Italian parsley for garnish

1.  Place spaghetti in salted, boiling water.  Cook to al dente.  Strain, but don’t rinse.

2.  Meanwhile, sauté garlic in olive oil (be careful not to burn).  When spaghetti is ready, drop into sauté pan and toss with oil and garlic.  Add in black olives, and a few ounces of Parmesan—toss together.  Sprinkle each serving with fresh parsley and additional Parmesan.

Published in: on September 8, 2010 at 9:08 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Bolognese Sauce

Yields 1 quart

  • 8 ounces mirepoix, fine dice
  • 2 fluid ounces olive oil
  • 1 ounce whole butter
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 8 fluid ounces white wine
  • 6 fluid ounces milk
  • To taste nutmeg
  • 2 pounds tomato concassée
  • Approximately 8 fluid ounces white stock
  • To taste kosher salt and cracked black pepper

1.  Sauté the mirepoix in olive oil and butter until tender and translucent.  Add beef and cook until no pink remains.  Drain fat if necessary.

2.  Add the wine.  Cook and reduce the wine until nearly dry.

3.  Add milk and season with nutmeg.  Cook and reduce the milk until nearly dry.

4.  Add tomato concassée and 8 fluid ounces of stock; season with salt and pepper.  Simmer for 3 to 4 hours, adding stock as needed to prevent scorching.  Adjust seasonings as you near completion.

Published in: on September 7, 2010 at 8:29 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Basic Pasta Dough

Yield:  2 pounds

  • 7-8 eggs
  • ½ ounce olive oil
  • ½ tablespoon kosher salt
  • 20 ounces bread flour

1.  Place eggs, oil, and salt in a large mixing bowl.  Use a paddle attachment to combine.

2.  Add one-third of the flour and stir until mixture begins to form a soft dough.  Remove paddle attachment and switch to a dough hook.

3.  Gradually add more flour until dough is dry and cannot absorb more flour.

4.  Remove dough from bowl, wrap with plastic and set aside at room temp for 20 to 30 minutes.

5.  After dough has rested, roll it into flat sheets by hand or with pasta machine (procedure follows).  Work only a small portion at a time, keeping the remainder well covered to prevent it from drying out.

6.  While sheets are pliable, cut them into desired width with a chef’s knife, pizza wheel, or pasta machine.

Note:  sheets can also be used for making ravioli.

Procedure for Rolling and Cutting Pasta Dough with Pasta Machine

1.  Work with a small portion of dough.  Leave the rest covered with plastic to prevent it from drying out.

2.  Flatten the dough with the heel of your hand.

3.  Set pasta machine rollers to their widest setting.  Insert dough and turn the handle with one hand while supporting the dough with the other hand.  Pass the entire piece of dough through the rollers.

4.  Dust dough with flour, fold into thirds and pass through pasta machine again.

5.  Repeat the folding and rolling procedure until dough is smooth.  This may require four to six passes.

6.  Tighten the rollers on or two marks, then pass dough through the machine.  Without folding into thirds, pass dough through machine repeatedly, tightening the rollers one or two marks with each pass.

Published in: on September 7, 2010 at 8:14 pm  Leave a Comment