Almond shells pasta with carrots
Prep Time: 30 minutes + resting time
Cook Time: 30 minutes total
Keywords: boil pasta nut-free soy-free sugar-free vegetarian semolina flour carrots Italian
Ingredients (Serves 2)
- 100 g / 3.5 oz. semolina flour of good quality
- 50 g / 1.75 oz. warm water
- A pinch of salt
- 300 g / 10.5 oz. fresh carrots, possibly organic
- 1 spring onion, white and light green portion (set aside the dark green portion for another use) 1 3/4 oz. / 50 g clean weight
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- Leaves of 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
- A pinch of fine sea salt
- 1/2 tablespoon / 7 g butter
- 15 g / 0.5 oz. Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
InstructionsHow to make the dough and shape scorze di mandorle
Make a dough with the ingredients and knead until nice and smooth. [You can watch my hands at work in this short video] Let it rest, well covered (e.g., wrapped in plastic film), for at least half an hour.
Working on the kneading board, roll the dough into a thick salami and cut it into 5-6 pieces. Keep them covered while you shape the scorze. Roll each piece into a pencil-size snake (3/8 inch / 1 cm thick), then cut into 1.5 cm / 5/8 inch long pieces.
Shape each small piece into a scorza di mandorla using a knife with rounded end, possibly smooth. Place the blade on the top long side of piece of dough and spread it as if it were a piece of butter on bread. To prevent the dough from curling tightly, hold it flat with a finger of the hand not holding the knife. Practice will teach your hands to apply the right amount of pressure to the dough so you thin it without making a hole. [You can watch my hands at work in this short video.]
Lay the scorze di mandorle out to dry on a lightly floured section of the kneading board (or a baking sheet lined with a cotton kitchen towel).
Repeat until you have used up the prepared dough.
Cook the scorze di mandorle and dress them as you like. The following carrot sauce is just a suggestion.How to prepare the carrots
Scrub carrots well and scrape surface to remove a thin layer of skin. Grate carrots using the extra-coarse side of a hand grater.
Cut the spring onion in half lengthwise and slice into 1/8 inch / 3 mm half-moons. Rinse well in a small colander.
Heat oil in a skillet. (Alternatively, if you have an oil mister, coat well the bottom of the skillet.) Add spring onion and stir to coat. Add the thyme leaves and stir. After 1 minute, add the grated carrots and stir well to coat. Cook on gentle heat for a couple of minutes. Cover the skillet and continue cooking, stirring every now and then, until the carrots are soft.
Season carrots with salt and stir.
Note that this will make more than you need to dress the scorze di mandorle. It will be enough to dress double the amount of pasta. Otherwise, leftover carrots can be eaten as a side dish, or added to a salad or eggs.How to cook and dress the scorze di mandorle
Bring a small pot of water to a rolling boil, add some coarse salt, stir and then toss the scorze di mandorle in it. They will come to the surface as they cook. The time needed is a bit variable, depending on their size, how dry they are, but it is not long.
In the meantime, melt the butter in a skillet and let the carrots warm up and mellow in the butter. You want to time this so that the carrots are nice and hot by the time the pasta is ready to join them.
Taste and stop the cooking when the scorze di mandorle are ready. Pour a glass of cold water in the pot, stir and drain leaving a little bit of the cooking water clinging to them. Drop the pasta into the skillet with the carrots. Stir well over medium-low heat for about half a minute. Sprinkle some of the cheese and stir one last time. Plate and sprinkle a bit more cheese on the top. Serve immediately.