Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Macarrones de Busa with Porcini & Ricotta

This is a classic dish from Sardinia. These hand rolled maccheroni have to be one of my favorite pastas. They have such an interesting chew to them that is truly unique. Here they are paired with a classic accompaniment of homemade ricotta cheese and porcini mushrooms.

TT = to taste

For pasta:
3 1/2 cups AP Flour
1 1/4 cups water
1T sea salt
3T extra virgin olive oil

For condimento:
2oz Dried porcini mushrooms
2 cups ricotta cheese, strained for an hour, homemade preferably (look up recipe on this blog!)
3 sprigs fresh thyme
4T extra virgin olive oil
TT, porcini powder for garnish (optional)
TT sea salt
TT, fresh ground black pepper

combine all ingredients for pasta and knead for a few minutes
wrap dough in plastic and let sit for half hour
Heat 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil
once boiling, drop porcini in and remove pot from heat
allow porcini to soak for an hour
unwrap and cut into 4 pieces
Take each piece and roll out with hands into a rope about 1/3" in diameter
cut into 2 1/2" - 3" pieces
Repeat with remaining dough
for making the maccheroni, I use a metal coat hanger that I cut to about 6-7" long. You could also use a bike spoke as well
I take the cut piece and dredge it in flour, then fold and knead it outwards into a longer & thinner strip, about 4 1/2" - 5" long.
place the rod piece into the center of the pasta lengthwise
pinch the top to close, then roll your hand over the pasta between your hand & the table until it is 5"-6" long
Pull maccheroni off of rod and place on parchment lined sheet tray dusted with flour
repeat process with remaining pieces
Prepare the condimento
Shake off the porcini really well to remove any grit, save porcini water
heat olive oil in large non stick saute pan over low heat
add porcini and thyme to pan and let saute in oil slighlty
add ricotta cheese and stir togehter
take porcini water and pour through a strainer lined with a coffee filter into the pan with the condimento
cook for a bit so the flavors all combine
season with salt and pepper
reserve and keep warm
bring 6qts of water to a boil
once boiling, add 2T of sea salt
drop pasta into boiling water in batches
allow pasta to float for 30 seconds
remove and transfer to pan with condimento
stir together, add pasta water if needed
repeat process with the rest of the pasta until it is all cooked off.
Transfer to plates and garnish with a pinch of porcini powder(if desired) and a sprig of thyme
serve immediately

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