Pasta isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of warm-weather food. But it is what comes to mind when you think of good food. Those two ideas intersect in this light dish from Marc Vetri’s new cookbook, Mastering Pasta: The Art and Practice of Handmade Pasta, Gnocci, and Risotto, which came out in March 2015. Vetri, who is a James Beard Award-winning chef and owner of six restaurants in Philadelphia, shared the recipe for his basic pasta dough and farfalle with chorizo and favas. – Gear Patrol
For the record, the Italian word farfalle means “butterflies”, not bow ties. And homemade farfalle are softer and more delicate than dried ones, so they need a lighter sauce. This one works great because the favas and bits of chorizo get caught up in the folds of the pasta. In this dish, I prefer the smooth texture of Pantaleo cheese, a hard, aged goat cheese from Sardinia. Look for Pantaleo at cheese shops or well-stocked supermarkets such as Whole Foods. Or substitute fiore sardo or another aged, firm goat’s or sheep’s milk cheese for grating. — Marc Vetri
Even though this sauce has bits of sausage and beans, the overall taste is light and fresh. Fazzoletti or fettuccine would work well here.
Makes 4 Servings
1 1/2 pounds (680g) young fava beans in the pod
8 ounces (227g) egg yolk dough (see next page), rolled into sheets about 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick
12 ounces (340g) Spanish chorizo
1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil
1/3 cup (56g) finely chopped yellow onion
1 cup (113g) grated Pantaleo cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Have ready a large bowl of ice water. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Shell the fava beans, discard the pods, and blanch the beans in the boiling water for 1 minute. Using a spider strainer or slotted spoon, transfer the beans to the ice water to stop the cooking. Pinch open the pale green skin on each bean and pop out the bright green fava. You should have about 1 1/2 cups (170g) peeled favas. Use them within 1 hour or cover and refrigerate for up to 8 hours.
For me, a life without pasta would be a life without music, a life without love. No dish in history has as many variations, colors, motifs, tastes, textures and subtleties as a dish of pasta. It’s like symphony that sounds a little different each time it’s played.” — Marc Vetri
2. Lay a pasta sheet on a lightly floured work surface and trim the edges square. Cut the sheet into 2 x 1-inch (5 x 2.5cm) rectangles, preferably with a fluted cutter to create a ruffled edge on the two short sides of each rectangle (these will be the opposite ends of each “butterfly”). To form each farfalla, place your index finger in the center of a rectangle and place your thumb and middle finger on the straight edges of the rectangle on opposite sides of your index finger. Your fingers and thumb should be lined up in a row parallel with the ruffled edges of the rectangle. Pinch your thumb and middle finger toward your index finger in the center, keeping your index finger in place to help create the folds. As the pasta folds up, remove your index finger and firmly pinch the folds of pasta together in the center to hold the shape. The ruffled edges should remain un-pinched. Place the farfalla on a floured rimmed baking sheet and dust with a little flour. Repeat with the remaining pasta rectangles and then the remaining sheet. You should have 60 to 70 farfalle. Cover the pasta and use it within 1 hour or refrigerate it for up to 4 hours. You can also freeze them in a single layer, transfer them to a zipper-lock bag, and freeze them for up to 1 month. Take the pasta straight from the freezer to the boiling pasta water.
3. Cut each chorizo in half lengthwise, then cut crosswise into half-moons about 1/8 inch (3mm) thick. Heat the oil in a large, deep sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and sweat until soft but not browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chorizo and favas and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a bowl. Drop in the farfalle, in batches if necessary to prevent crowding, and cover the pot to quickly return the water to a boil. Cook the pasta until it is tender but still a little chewy when bitten, about 2 minutes. Using a spider strainer or slotted spoon, drain the pasta by transferring it to the pan of sauce. Reserve the pasta water.
5. Add about 1 cup (240ml) of the pasta water to the pan and cook the mixture over medium-high heat, tossing and stirring vigorously, until the sauce reduces slightly, becomes creamy and coats the pasta, about 1 minute. Add a little more pasta water if necessary to create a creamy sauce. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in 3/4 cup (85g) of the cheese. Keep the pasta moving until pasta and sauce become one thing in the pan. Taste it, adding salt and pepper until it tastes good to you.
6. Dish out the pasta onto warmed plates and garnish with the remaining Pantaleo cheese and a grind of pepper.
Egg Yolk Dough
Here’s my basic fresh pasta dough. I do riffs on this recipe for most of the pasta dishes in this book. It uses a 3-to-1 ratio (by weight) of Tipo 00 flour to durum flour. The durum flour gives the dough extra strength and chew. The egg yolks make it rich and tender. For the riffs, I change out the flours or eggs or add other ingredients to achieve different tastes and textures. This recipe makes enough for about 4 sheets of pasta that are 5 to 6 inches (13 to 15cm) wide, each 4 to 5 feet (1.3 to 1.5m) long if rolled to 1/32-inch (0.8mm) thickness; 3 to 4 feet (1 to 1.3m) long if rolled to 1/16-inch (1.5mm) thickness; and 2 to 3 feet (61 cm to 1 m) long if rolled to 1/8-inch (3mm) thickness. That’s enough to make about 80 4-inch (10cm) squares for cannelloni or lasagna, 95 2-inch (5-cm) squares for ravioli, or 150 1-inch (2.5cm) squares for small ravioli. — Marc Vetri
Makes About 1 Pound (454g)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (170g) Tipo 00 flour, or 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons (170g) all-purpose flour, plus some for dusting
7 tablespoons (55g) durum flour
9 egg yolks
1 tablespoon (15ml) extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons (45ml) water, plus more as needed
1. Combine both flours in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or mix together the flours on a work surface and make a well in the center. On medium speed, or with your fingers, add the egg yolks, oil and water, adding them one ingredient at a time and mixing just until the dough comes together, 2 to 3 minutes. If necessary, add a little more water, 1 tablespoon (15ml) at a time, for the dough to come together.
2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead it until it feels silky and smooth, about 5 minutes, kneading in a little Tipo 00 flour if necessary to keep the dough from sticking. The dough is ready if when you stretch it with your hands, it gently pulls back into place.
3. Shape the dough into a ball then flatten the ball into a disk. Cover the dough and set it aside for at least 30 minutes or wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for up to 3 days. You can also freeze the dough for up to 3 months. (Thaw the dough overnight in the refrigerator before using it. Alternatively, thaw it quickly in a microwave oven on 50 percent power in 5-second increments, just until cool to the touch.)
4. To roll out the dough, cut it into 4 equal pieces. If you have a very long work surface, you can cut the dough into fewer pieces. Let the pieces sit, covered, at room temperature for 10 minutes if chilled. The dough should be cool but not cold. Shape each piece into an oval wide enough to fit the width of your pasta roller. Lightly flour your work surface and set the pasta roller to its widest setting. Lightly flour 1 piece of dough, pass it through the roller, and then lightly dust the rolled dough with flour, brushing off the excess with your hands. Pass the dusted dough through the widest setting again. Set the roller to the next-narrowest setting and pass the dough through, dusting again with flour and brushing off the excess. Pass once again through the roller. Fold the dough in half lengthwise over itself and cut about 1/4 inch (6mm) off both corners at the fold. This folding and cutting helps to create an evenly wide sheet of dough. Continue passing the dough once or twice through each progressively narrower setting. For thicker pasta like corzetti, chitarra, pappardelle, fettuccine, and tagliatelle, you want to roll the dough about 1/8 inch (3mm) thick — setting 2 or 3 on a KitchenAid attachment — or about as thick as a thick cotton bed sheet.