Sunday, November 17, 2013

Fresh Orecchiette with Sauteed Vegetable Broth

I've always dreamed of making fresh pasta at home.  The dough only has three ingredients in it and takes minutes to make.  How hard could it be, right?  Not hard at all, it turns out!

My pasta dough was actually too wet today.  It turned out great, but was very sticky so I had to use so much flour that my kitchen, and my entire self, was completely coated in the dusty stuff!  No harm done, though, and now I know :)

I will also admit this:  It took longer than I thought it would to form the saucers of dough.  I wished I'd recruited helpers about half way through the process.  Besides that, this whole recipe is a breeze!

Fresh Orecchiette with Sauteed Vegetable Broth
Pasta dough comes from Mario Batali.  Serves 4.

1 cup semolina flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 to 2/3 cups lukewarm water

Veggie Broth:
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 small onion, diced
1 cup finely chopped broccoli
1 cup finely chopped mushrooms
1 cup diced tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Black pepper
3 to 4 cups chicken broth

Whisk flours together in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the water a little at a time, stirring with a fork until a rough dough is formed. You may add a little water if there is much flour in the bottom of the bowl, but keep in mind the dough should be dry (drier than mine, hopefully).

Place the dough on a floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Cover the dough and let it stand for 10 minutes at room temperature.

Roll the dough into a long dowel about 3 inches thick. Cut the dough into flat disks about 1/4 inch thick. Press each disk in your palm (using your opposite thumb) to form a very thin saucer-shaped pasta. Place the orecchiette on a sheet pan that has been dusted with semolina flour, cover the pasta with a clean dish towel, and set out at room temperature overnight to dry.

In a large cooking pot, heat oil with garlic and onion over medium high heat.  Cook, stirring, for several minutes until tender but do not brown.  Push the garlic and onions to the edges of the pot and add broccoli and mushrooms.  Add a bit of oil if needed to moisten the broccoli with a little fat.  Saute the veggies until they are still crisp, yet beginning to brown on the edges.  Add tomatoes, stir it all together and cook for several minutes.

Cover the veggies by about an inch in chicken broth.  Bring to a simmer then turn off the heat.  Add salt and black pepper to taste.  Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to boil.  

Drop in pasta and boil until the pasta has risen, is floating on the top of the water and is al dente (cooking time may depend on how dry the pasta is...mine took maybe ten minutes).  Drain (or remove using a skimmer) and stir cooked pasta into your vegetable broth mixture.  If you want more liquid in your dish, add ladles of pasta water until you're satisfied.  Bring to a simmer, then let it rest for several minutes off the heat while the pasta soaks up some flavors from the broth.  Serve warm with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.


1 comment:

  1. I've never tried making my own pasta before.... I like this because it does not require special tools. Looks great Hannah!


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