A little (edible) math:
Besides exploring new pasta shapes, I like creating variations of known ones. Today's pasta is an example. I took the pasta dough made with 50% farina di castagne (chestnut flour) previously used in making a version of strascinati and I tried making gnocchetti sardi (Sardinian gnocchi) with it. That worked very nicely.
I then took some roasted red pepper and almond dip (made last summer and frozen), and repurposed it as pasta sauce. The result? Sparkling!
The word "peppers" (peperoni) immediately brings to mind the summer farmers' market and the many varieties of this vegetable that I can find there, from sweet to mildly spicy to fiery hot. Fortunately, during pepper season, I did a bit of preservation work.
Sweet, meaty Round of Hungary peppers are perfect to make roasted red pepper and almond dip . A batch yields quite a bit, so a few times I froze half for future use. Hence now, in the dead of winter, I have some of the bright red spread to eat as usual or use in innovative ways.
My original post on gnocchetti sardi includes a short video, which I am reposting here. The video shows my hands cutting the rope of pasta and shaping gnocchetti. As in the video that inspired me, I am showing two ways of shaping the pasta: you can use your thumb or your index finger, depending on how you feel more comfortable. You'll see in the video that the position of the gnocchi board depends on the finger you want to use.
The trick here is to apply the right amount of pressure on the piece of dough while dragging it along the board so that you get the sort of curl with the grooves on the surface and the nice nook on the other side. If you press too hard, the dough gets sort of smushed and sticks to the board. Make sure to flour lightly the gnocchi board as needed to prevent sticking. Also, if you have experience making gnocchetti with the original dough, be advised that in this version they are softer, so a light touch is called for when shaping and handling them.
Ingredients (I recommend weighing flours and water because the quantities involved are small):
- 50 g / 1.75 oz. chestnut flour
- 50 g / 1.75 oz. all-purpose flour
- A pinch of fine sea salt
- 55 g / 2 oz. lukewarm water (I recommend weighing the water)
- 2 tablespoons roasted red pepper and almond dip
Make a dough with the first four ingredients and knead until nice and smooth. Let the dough rest, covered, for half an hour or so.
Roll the dough into a thick salami and cut it into pieces. Keep them covered while you shape the gnocchetti. Roll each piece into a pencil-size snake (3/8 inch / 1 cm thick), then cut into 1 cm / 3/8 inch long pieces. Shape each small piece into a gnocchetto using a gnocchi board or other method (see above). Place a piece of dough on the board, apply to it some pressure with either your thumb or your index finger and drag it on the board to curl it. The resulting gnocchetto will have grooves on the convex surface and a nice nook on the other side. If you use your thumb, the board handle points towards you and the dragging motion is away from you. If you use your index finger, the board faces you and the dragging motion is towards you.
Lay out the gnocchetti to dry.
Bring a pot of salted water to a rolling boil, then toss the gnocchetti in it (what in Italian we call: buttare giù la pasta). They will come to the surface as they cook. The time needed is a bit variable, depending on the size of the gnocchetti, how dry they are, etc., but it is relatively short. Don't wander far away from the pot, so you can carefully check the process.
While the pasta is cooking, place the red pepper dip in a bowl and add 1/2 tablespoon or so of the pasta cooking water to soften it (adjusting the quantity based on the density of the dip). Drain the pasta and transfer it into the bowl with the sauce. Stir well with a delicate touch. Plate and serve immediately. The recipe makes two small portions.
This is my contribution to the second edition of Pasta Please, a new pasta-centric event created by Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes and hosted this month by Lisa of We Don't Eat Anything With A Face. The theme this month is: peppers.
This post contains the roundup of the event.
This post goes to Pantry Party, an event created by Elizabeth of The Law Student's Cookbook whose February theme is pasta. (My handmade pasta does not come from the pantry, but the flour(s) I use to make the dough do.)
This post contains the roundup of the event.
This is my contribution to edition #71 of Black and White Wednesday - A Culinary Photography Event created by Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook, now organized by Cinzia of Cindystar, and hosted this week by Shruthi of Food & Clicks.
The photo was shot in color and then converted to sepia (using Lightroom preset Sepia Tone).
This post contains the gallery of images submitted to the event.
Click on the button to hear me pronounce the Italian words mentioned in the post:
or launch the gnocchetti alla farina di castagne audio file [mp3].
[Depending on your set-up, the audio file will be played within the browser or by your mp3 player application. Please, contact me if you encounter any problems.]