Pansotti al sugo di noci
This week's recipe is shared by Paolo Laboa, chef/owner of Solo Italianoin Portland, Maine. The recipe is a house and community favourite and stands out for its richness of flavour and surfeit of local ingredients in the filling. In Maine, the seasons are short but greens of all types can flow from greenhouses and aquaponics setups all year long. The greens come from Stonecipher Farm in Bowdoinham and Olivia's Garden in New Gloucester – also the producer of our young, year-round basil. The ricotta salata comes from Swallowtail Farm in Whitefield.
For the dough:
- ¼ kg "OO", unbleached flour
- 1.5 oz glass white wine (the rest of the glass for the cook!)
- 2 tbsp Parmigiana-Reggiano
- 1 whole egg
For the filling:
- 150 g ricotta salata
- touch of garlic (1 small clove)
- marjoram to taste
- ¼ c walnuts
- 350 g of any combination of the following from a local, organic farm: borage, white chard, spinach, nettles, pea shoots, asparagus tops, green clover
- sea salt to taste
For the pesto:
- 1 c walnuts and/or pine nuts
- ⅓ c Parmigiana-Reggiano
- ¼ c extra virgin olive oil
- touch of garlic
- sea salt to taste
- 1.5 tbsp marjoram
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- ½ c sourdough crust soaked in milk (ideally overnight)
- Knead your pasta dough sufficiently to incorporate.
- Using a spiralizer, roll your pasta thin (think tagliatelle thin, just not tagliatelle dried, this dough is used fresh). Tagliatelle is important for relation because of your starting point for filling, folding and finishing the individual pasta pieces. Ultimately you will be seeking long, 1.5 inch wide sheets. You may need to cut in half the long way with a pizza roller to achieve this width.
- From here you will cut squares along the 1.5 inch wide sheet. Each square will be filled with a healthy dollop of the filling from a pastry bag.
- Once all your dollops are placed, you can begin the humbling action of folding pasta to shape. Your goal here is simple enough: a pouch, or belly – the meaning of the word pansotti.
- Important: Keep your pasta flat on the surface through to the finish.
- First, fold the square into a triangle (over the filling), then pinch the sides of the triangle.
- Finally, place your thumb at the base of the triangle and fold the bottom corners of it behind your thumb. This should produce a "belly" sticking up above the top of the triangle.
When cooking fresh-made pasta, you will want to properly salt your water. The reason for this is the fact that all salt incorporated thus far in the recipe is to taste, essentially meaning to the point that you can taste the salt. Kosher salt is best.
- When the salted water is boiling, add your pasta. For fresh pasta, your cook time may be no more than 2-4 minutes.
- Once the pasta is ready, you will pick up your pasta in the pesto. This means having a warm (not a hot!) pan, with a healthy spoonful of pesto (per serving of 5-6 pansotti) and a sprinkling of Parmigiana-Reggiano. Use a large spoon to toss, turn and serve. Enjoy hot.
Paolo Laboa, chef/owner of Solo Italiano