Orecchiette with Roma Beans

Our CSA is coming to an end for the winter so very soon. We'll still be sharing some of the recipes we've made the past few weeks / months with the produce. This pasta dish was very simple and I was amazed at all the flavor it developed. No surprise here - it's from The Chew.

The recipe features roma beans which is why I decided to make it. Roma beans are offered through our CSA and I seldom select them because Patrick prefers green beans. We were getting into a bit of a green bean rut and I thought roma beans and this recipe were the perfect way to change it up!

Mario Batali's Orecchiette with Roma Beans
   ^ Follow through the hyperlinked recipe title for the video of Mario preparing the dish
For the Orecchiette *
2 cups semolina flour *
2 cups all-purpose flour *
1-1 1/4 cups tepid water *
For the sauce
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 pound romano beans (topped and cut into 1/2-inch pieces)
1/2 stalk celery, thinly sliced
2 serrano chilies, thinly sliced - we used one
1 onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup freshly grated caciocavallo cheese, plus more to garnish - we used Parmesan

   For the Orecchiette: Mound the flour in the center of a large wooden cutting board. Make a well in the center of the flour and add water a little at a time, stirring with your hands until a dough is formed. As you incorporate the water, keep pushing the flour up to retain the well shape (do not worry if it looks messy). The dough will come together in a shaggy mass when about half of the flour is incorporated. You may need more or less water, depending on the humidity in your kitchen.
Start kneading the dough with both hands, primarily using the palms of your hands. Once the dough is a cohesive mass, remove the dough from the board and scrape up any left over dry bits. Lightly flour the board and continue kneading for 3 more minutes. The dough should be elastic and a little sticky. Continue to knead for another 3 minutes, remembering to dust your board with flour when necessary. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and set aside for 10 minutes at room temperature. Roll and form as desired. *
   Roll dough into long dowels about 3 to 4 inches thick. Cut into flat disks about 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch thick. Press center of each disk with thumb to form saucer-shaped pasta and set aside until ready to cook.
   Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and season very generously with salt until it tastes like the sea. Cook the fresh orechiette for 2 to 3 minutes or until al dente. Drain.
   For the Sauce: In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat, add the beans, celery and peppers to the pan and do not disturb. [Don’t move the Romano beans around in the pan. This way the beans char on one side and become ten times more flavorful. If you cannot find Romano beans, you can substitute either green beans or wax beans.] Cook for 30 seconds then lay the onions on top and do not disturb the pan. After 2 minutes toss the ingredients in the pan and season with salt and red pepper flakes. Saute for 2 to 3 more minutes before loosening with a ladle or two of pasta water. Then add the pasta, loosening with a bit of the pasta cooking water if necessary. Add fresh caciocavallo cheese and serve.

*We substituted our pasta recipe to prepare the orechiette - which is 1 egg per 100 g of flour.
I must have been having an off day when I made this because I accidentally used 1 cup of flour per egg instead of 100 grams. I didn't realize this until I was just about to roll it out (I had to incorporate water to get the dough to form). I still made the orechiette and it was edible. I'm sure if the pasta had been spot on this dish would've easily gotten an A+!

 Patrick received this in a picture text with my question "Pasta isn't coming together :-( what should I do?" He didn't respond in a timely manner and I proceeded without his advice.

Any recent kitchen disasters for you? I've learned you just keep moving along!

1 comment:

  1. I still can't believe you make your own pasta! Yes, I have made many mistakes in the kitchen but jimmy is good to cook for because he never complains.