An Italian Cooking Abroad

Struggling to preserve the Italian culinary tradition oversea

Category: Fres pasta & gnocchi

SPINACH AND RICOTTA TORTELLINI WITH SALSA VERDE

INGREDIENTS (2 servings)

Handful of parsley / 1 clove of garlic / 1 tbsp capers / 1 tsp dijon mustard / 3 tbsp olive oil / salt an pepper / lemon juice / 250 g spinach and ricotta tortellini / grated parmesan cheese

Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Meanwhile, make the salsa verde. Chop the parsley, garlic and capers as finely as you can. Scrape into a bowl and, using a fork, whisk in the dijon mustard and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. Season the boiling water with salt then drop in the tortellini. Cook according to packed instructions then drain into a colander. Shake off any excess of water then put the pasta back into the pan and stir through the salsa verde. Pile into a bowl and sprinkle over the grated cheese.

PASSATELLI

INGREDIENTS (4 servings)

3 eggs / 120 g bread crumbs / 120 g grated parmesan cheese / lemon zest / nutmeg / salt / broth

Ina bowl pout the brad crumbs and the grated parmesan cheese, add the lemon zest and the grated nutmeg and mix together. Add the eggs and work with your hands to get a compact and elastic dough. If it is too dry add some drops of broth, if too sticky add some more bread crumbs. Cover it with plastic wrap and let it rest for 2 hours at room temperature. Bring the broth to a boil in a pot. Put the dough in the potato masher with the large holes and press directly over the pot, cutting the passatelli with a knife when they are 4 cm long. Let them boil till they resurface, then drain them and serve covered with broth and parmesan cheese.

AROMATIC ROLLS

INGREDIENTS (6-8 servings)

600 g fresh lasagna / 500 g ricotta cheese / 100 g grated parmesan / 400 g béchamel sauce / 20 basil leaves / fresh thyme / 1 egg / half a glass of milk / extravirgin olive oil / nutmeg / salt and pepper

Blend together the thyme with the basil leaves and 2 spoonfuls of olive oil. Pour the mixture in a bowl, add the ricotta, grated parmesan cheese, the egg yolk, a pinch of salt and grated nutmeg. Spread one lasagna dough with the ricotta mixture, roll it and cut it in small cylinders 1-2 cm long. Continue the same way with the remaining ricotta mix and lasagnas. Pour half the béchamel sauce in a baking tin, position the standing pasta cylinders on top of it, one next to each other, cover everything with the remaining béchamel sauce diluted with the milk. Cover with grated parmesan and cook in the oven at 180 C covered with tin foil for 25 minutes. The uncover the baking tin and let the pasta rolls grate for 10 more minutes.

FIGS AND RICOTTA RAVIOLI

INGREDIENTS (2 servings)

100 g flour / 2 spoonfuls of whole wheat flour / 1 egg / salt / 200 g ricotta / 1 spoonful grated pecorino cheese / figs jam / salt / butter / rosemary / grated parmesan / extravirgin olive oil

Mix the flours in a bowl. Shape them as a “fountain”, with a hole in the middle, break the egg in the hole and add some salt. Scramble the egg with a fork and start mixing it with the flour, continue working the dough till you have a ball. Cover with plastic wrapping paper and rest it in the fridge for 1 hour. Then roll the dough as thin as possible. For the filling, mix the ricotta with the pecorino cheese and salt. With an upside-down glass cut round shapes in the dough, fill them with a teaspoon of the ricotta mix and a teaspoon of fig jam. Fold one edge of the ravioli on top of the other and press the edges with a fork to close them in a half-moon shape. Cook them in boiling water. Once ready, sauté them in a pan with butter, oil and rosemary. Sprinkle with grated parmesan.

GNOCCHI WITH ASPARAGUS

INGREDIENTS (4 servings)

1.5 lb of potatoes / 0.7 lb of asparagus / 0.5 lb of flour / 2 egg yolks / butter / grated parmesan / salt

Boil the potatoes with their skin. Clean the asparagus, boil them in salted water for few minutes, then drain them leaving them “al dente”. Cut them in small pieces (2 fingers long). Peel the potatoes, squash them with a potato masher, add the flour, yolks, salt and knead. form long and thin rolls, and cut some small portions that you are going to flat with your thumb. Put inside each of these a piece of asparagus, then close it leaving the vegetable inside the gnocco. Continue till all the ingredients are finished. If the dough gets sticky, add some flour. In a pan, melt some butter, boil the gnocchi in water and when they come to the surface transfer them in the pan with the butter. Season them for one minute, turn the heat off and add the parmesan and a spoonful of the cooking water.