Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Last Night's Dinner #119: Orecchiette al Pesto di Piselli e Menta

This orecchiette pasta with pea and mint pesto recipe was a recipe from the cooking class I took in Tuscany. Thanks Guido!

You'll need:
For the pasta:
same recipe used for the Pici

For the pesto:
Again not an exact science when it comes to measuring ingredients... the best I can do is give you a ratio.
- One part pine nuts to 4 parts fresh peas (uncooked). I used about 1/2-1/3 cup of peas. The fresher the better. I found these lovely beans from the Tompkins Square Market. 1 small clove of garlic (or 1/2 of a big clove) peeled. 1/2 handful of mint leaves (I probably used about 10 or 12 leaves). Salt and pepper to taste. Grated pecorino or parmiggiano to taste.
- Olive oil: about 50ml, but again it really depends on how you like your pesto

Step 1. You can use the food processor but I opted for the old fashion way. I like how I can control the bits. Pesto shouldn't be smooth (at least this is what I was told)! Crush garlic, peas, pine nuts, mint and olive oil.

It takes a little longer I guess...

But so worth it... loved the chunky bits of peas!

Step 2. Orecchiette

Using the same recipe for the Pici, take a little piece of the dough and roll it out into a strand the thickness of your middle finger. Using a butter knife, cut a little piece of dough (the size of a mini marshmallow).

Use the knife (serrated side facing up) to spread and roll the dough on a work surface until it curls up.

At this point, you have Cavatelli. Next time, you can make Cavatelli & Sage Pesto w/ Sweet Italian Sausage and Ricotta.

Now invert the pasta with your fingers to make the orecchiettte shape.

Cook in boiling salted water for about 3-4 minutes. (Reserve some of the cooking water before you drain)

Before serving, add a few tbs of pasta water to the pesto to make it creamier. Now mix with the pasta and sprinkle grated cheese on top!


a cat of impossible colour said...

I am so completely impressed that you make your own pasta.

Luke said...

Hehe, that pasta shape looks similar to what my contact lenses look like when I'm about to put them in inverted (eeps!). But, really, they look good! I really want to make pasta now...