Cavatelli with Seared Squid, Oven-Roasted Tomatoes, Baby Arugula and Black Olives

July 4th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink


4-6 servings


For the Cavatelli

1 pound all-purpose flour, or Italian OO flour
1 pound whole-milk ricotta, drained/hung in cheesecloth overnight
4 ounces semolina
3 ounces Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
Water, just enough to make a firm dough

For the Sauce

10½ ounces baby arugula, long stem ends removed
8 ripe plum tomatoes, peeled and seeded
Zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange, peeled into strips (no pith)
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 spring fresh thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
3½ ounces black olives, pitted and sliced

For the Calamari

1 pound calamari, fresh or frozen, tubes and tentacles cleaned and separated
2 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
Pinch pepperoncino
Zest of 1 lemon, freshly grated
1 tablespoon Italian flat leaf parsley, freshly chopped


For the cavatelli

Combine the flours in a large bowl. Add ricotta and the parmesan and mix by hand to combine.
Add the water a little at a time, just enough to form a stiff dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work table and knead by hand until smooth and elastic. Be careful not to add too much water, but the dough should not be tacky or sticky.Wrap the dough in plastic wrap for up to a few hours.

To shape the cavatelli: cut the dough into pieces, and then roll one piece into a rope about ½ inch in diameter. Keep the remaining pieces covered in plastic wrap until needed. Using a small knife or a bowl/bench scraper, cut the dough rope into pieces about ½ inch long.

Press the pieces with your index finger against the blade of a butter knife with a rounded tip, flattering each piece of dough until fairly thin. Pull the knife toward you, dragging the dough across the work surface so that it curls itself around the tip of the knife to form a shell shape. Place on a floured sheet tray until ready to use.

For the calamari

Cut the calamari into tubes about ½ inch thick.

In a medium sauté pan over a low flame, heat a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil with the sliced garlic. Add a pinch of pepperoncino. When the garlic has softened and given off all of its aroma, turn off the heat and set aside.

Heat a large cast iron skillet or grill pan over high heat. Sear the calamari tubes and tentacles in just a little oil nicely colored on both sides. Remove to the smaller pan with the garlic. Toss with the freshly grated lemon zest and parsley. Adjust seasoning.

For the Sauce

Cut the peeled and seeded tomatoes into petals. Toss them in a bowl with salt and pepper, crushed garlic, strips of lemon and orange zest and fresh thyme sprigs. Lay them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast them in a 325°F oven until they are soft, shrunken and slightly golden.
Clean the arugula well.

Boil the cavatelli in abundant salted water until just al dente.

In a large sauté pan over medium low flame, heat a few tablespoons of the olive oil with the roasted tomatoes and olives. Strain the pasta and toss into the sauce, adding the arugula and toss together until it is just wilted. Add a few drops of pasta water and olive oil to the pan to achieve a creamy consistency. Adjust the seasoning. Spoon into warm bowls and top with the seared calamari dividing the rings and tentacles evenly among the bowls.

Sweet Corn and Crab Cappellacci with Soppresatta, Red Peppers, Zucchini & Basil

July 4th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink


4-6 Servings


For the filling

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
½ medium white or yellow onion, thinly sliced (about ¾ cup)
3 ears sweet yellow corn, kernels removed from their cobs
1 cup jumbo lump crab meat, pickled over very well for shells
¾ cup mascarpone
Zest of 1 lemon, freshly grated
Pinch of pimento d’espelette pepper

For the pasta dough

2 large eggs plus 6 yolks
14 ounces all-purpose or Italian OO flour
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Pinch salt

For the Sauce

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 zucchini, diced (green parts only)
Pinch espelette pepper
¾ cup spicy soppressata, cut into small cubes
2 red bell peppers, charred on a grill or gas burner, skins and seeds/ribs removed, and cut into strips
Reserved cooked corn kernels
1 cup fresh Italian basil leaves, gently torn
Zucchini blossoms, cut in half, stems and pistils removed


For the filling

In a medium skillet over medium heat, cook the onions in olive oil, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add all but a few tablespoons of the corn and continue cooking until it is tender, about 3 minutes. Season with salt.

In a food processor, purée the corn and onion mixture. Transfer to a large bowl and fold in the mascarpone, crab, lemon zest and espelette. Adjust seasoning. Place the mixture in a pining bag and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the pasta dough

Lightly beat the eggs and egg yolks in a large bowl. Add the extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt.

Add in the flour little by little, mixing together with a fork until the dough is not too sticky to handle. The dough should still be a rough, shaggy mass.

Turn the dough out onto the work surface and knead by hand, adding more of the flour, as necessary until the dough is smooth, elastic and not sticky. Wrap in plastic or store in a Ziploc bag to rest for 20 minutes.

Cut the dough from the ball into pieces and flatten into disks. Work with one disk at a time and keep the rest covered with plastic or under a kitchen towel so they do not dry out. Run the disk through the rollers of the pasta machine, starting at the widest setting. Fold the dough in half or in thirds and press down to seal. If the dough feels sticky sprinkle it with flour, but brush off the excess. Feed the open side of the pasta through the rollers and repeat a few times. Continue to dust the dough with flour and brush it off if the dough feels tacky.

Advance the pasta machine to the next thinnest setting. Without folding anymore, put the pasta sheet through the next setting. Continue advancing the rollers to the next thinnest setting, rolling the pasta sheet one time through each setting without folding, until the dough is thin enough so that you can see your hand through it.

Place the sheet of pasta on a lightly floured work surface. Cut out circles of dough from the sheet using a fluted biscuit cutter or a juice glass, approximately 3 inches in diameter. Pipe a blob for the filling in the center of each circle and then fold over the dough to form a half-moon shape. Press the dough together to seal. Bring the ends of the half moons together and press to seal them. Place the finished cappelletti on a well-floured sheet tray covered with a clean towel until ready to cook. Repeat the process with all the disks of dough.

For the sauce

In a large wide skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the diced zucchini, season with salt and espelette, and cook over medium heat until just tender. Add the reserved corn kernels, diced soppressata and red peppers and warm through.

Cook the cappellacci in abundant boiling salted water until they float to the surface. Strain from the water and add to the pan with the soppressata and peppers. Add some of the pasta cooking water and toss together to make a creamy sauce. Gently tear the basil leaves and add to the skillet along with the zucchini blossoms. Adjust the seasoning. Spoon the pasta onto warmed bowls or plates.

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