Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Pasta Bazzoffia

Pasta bazzoffia

(Roman spring vegetable "ragu" with pasta)

Serves four
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed

4 green onions, minced

2 spring garlic scapes

1/2 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley

8 fresh young artichoke hearts, cleaned and cut into eighths

1 cup fresh shelled peas

1 cup fresh young fava beans

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 cup water

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, as needed

1 pound short tubular pasta such as tubettini, small penne, etc.

1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano DOP
In an ample skillet, warm the olive oil over low heat. Add the onions, garlic scapes and parsley, and saute until translucent, five minutes. Add the artichoke wedges, peas and fava beans, and let cook until very hot, four minutes. Sprinkle in the flour, and stir to mix it with the vegetables. Add the water, and let simmer over low heat until the artichokes are tender, 20 minutes. (This ragu freezes well and will keep in the freezer for up to two months or more, or you can cool the sauce and transfer to storage containers.)

Bring 5 quarts of water to boil in a large pot. Stir in salt, as needed, and the pasta, and cook over high heat until it is al dente. (Cooking times will vary according to shape; consult the directions on your package.) Drain and transfer it to the skillet, tossing to combine the pasta and sauce well. Let it cook together over medium heat until creamy, four minutes.

Take the skillet off the heat and add more olive oil to taste, the grated cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve at once.

Spaghetti al vino rosso

(Spaghetti with red wine and pecorino)

Serves 4
1 pound spaghetti

Salt, as needed

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling before serving

3 cups good quality light, dry red wine

3/4 cup aged DOP Pecorino Toscan or Parmigiano-Reggiano
Bring 5 quarts of water to a rapid boil. Stir in the pasta and a generous pinch of salt. Cook for six to eight minutes, depending on the thickness of the spaghetti. Drain, reserving some of the cooking water.

In the meantime, in an ample skillet, warm the oil over medium heat. Add the pasta, and toss. Gradually add the wine, 1/2 cup at a time, tossing continually, until the wine is absorbed by the pasta. When the wine is almost entirely absorbed, add the cheese, and combine well. Serve very hot.

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