Pasta Modern

Pasta Modern by Francine Segan Read Free Book Online Page B

Book: Pasta Modern by Francine Segan Read Free Book Online
Authors: Francine Segan
or red pepper. In Piedmont and Emilia-Romagna, it’s common, especially for the older generations, to top plin , the area’s small ravioli, with red wine. In Molise, they make a simple pasta soup called scattone , where the broth is just the pasta’s cooking water seasoned with red wine and pepper. A fabulous medieval festival called La Sagra dello Scattone is dedicated to this centuries-old dish, held each year in August in the Molise towns of Torella del Sannio and Bagnoli del Trigno.

    { Cupola di bucatini }
    SERVES 8 | REGION: Campania and Sicily
It’s hard to top this dish for pure, showstopping drama. The stately dome of pasta houses a colorful filling of string beans, carrots, zucchini, and plenty of rich Italian cheese. But don’t get intimidated. This architecturally magnificent—and delicious—dish is actually quite easy to create. The trick is to use bucatini : long, thick pasta that keeps its shape as you coil it into a bowl.
This recipe dates to eighteenth-century Naples, and was taught to me at the Garofalo pasta factory, right in their office kitchen.
14 tablespoons (200 g) butter
5 to 6 small zucchini, minced
3 medium carrots, minced
12 ounces (340 g) haricots verts or very thin string beans, minced
1 ¼ pounds (570 g) bucatini or perciatelli , preferably Garofalo brand
2 large eggs, beaten
Grated pecorino cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
12 ounces (340 g) deli-sliced high-quality provolone or caciocavallo cheese
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Very generously butter an 8-to 9-inch (20-to 23-cm) dome-shaped ovensafe container, such as a Pyrex or metal bowl.
In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the butter and add the zucchini; fry until it is soft. Put the zucchini into a large bowl. In the same pan, heat another 1 tablespoon of the butter and cook the carrots and string beans over low heat, covered, until they are tender, adding a few drops of water, if needed. Stir them into the bowl with the zucchini until well combined. Set aside 1 cup of this vegetable mixture as garnish.
Boil the pasta in salted water for two thirds of the time the package directs. Drain and divide, putting three fourths of the pasta into the large bowl of vegetables and the remaining one fourth into a small bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter to the small bowl, toss, and set aside; it will be used for the outer part of the dome.
Add the remaining 9 tablespoons (130 g) butter to the pasta-vegetable bowl and stir until the butter melts, then stir in the eggs, ½ cup (50 g) of pecorino, and a pinch of pepper. Using kitchen scissors, cut into the pasta mixture so it is broken up a little. Set aside.
Using one strand from the plain buttered pasta, start in the center of the prepared domed container and twirl the pasta around itself to form a coil (image #1) . Continue the coil with another strand of pasta, starting where the last strand ended so it is in one continuous line; continue with additional strands until the pasta reaches halfway up the pan. Line the pasta with slices of the provolone, pressing the cheese firmly against the pasta (image #2) . Put in half of the vegetable-pasta mixture, pressing firmly into the bottom and sides of the bowl to remove any air pockets and densely pack the filling (image #3) . This is the key to getting a nice compact dome that stays together when sliced. Top with cheese slices.
Continue coiling the plain pasta around the dome to the top (image #4) . Line the sides with more cheese slices and top with the remaining vegetable-pasta mixture and slices of cheese. Press the pasta down firmly with a spatula or wooden spoon. Cut the remaining plain buttered pasta with scissors and press it on top of the mixture (image #5) .
Cover the bowl with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and bake, uncovered, for another 15 minutes, or until the pasta is golden and set. Let it rest for 10 minutes, then put a serving plate on top of the bowl and

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