CAVATELLI WITH RICOTTA with Spring vegetable sauce
This is a form of gnocchi that is made with dairy products, particularly ricotta cheese. Because of that they are very tender and pillowy. They can be sauced as you like or use them with the first of spring vegetables as we do here, with a little Parmesan cream sauce. Very light yet filling and almost shouts, “spring!”
4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 egg
- 1 pound ricotta cheese
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup whole milk
Sift flour in a large mixing bowl, making a well in the center of the flour and add the remaining ingredients. Begin to press together and knead with your hands. Remove dough from bowl and continue to knead for approximately 2 minutes more on lightly floured surface. Cut in to4 pieces and cover with dampened cloth. Rest for a minimum of 10 minutes. Roll out dough to a thickness of 3/8 inch. Cut into 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide. Four each strip generously before rolling through cavatelli cutter. Catch cavatelli into bowl. Cook immediately or refrigerate for later use. It may also be frozen for later use.
To cook, place a 4-8 quart pot of water on the stove with enough salt to flavor the water using ratio, 1 1/2 Tablespoon salt per 2 quarts water. Bring to boil and cook pasta for 5 minutes when they float and are to the tooth, about 5-7 minutes. Remove, drain and toss with EVOO or/and sauce of cream, fresh mushrooms and seasonal vegetables.
Spring Morel, Asparagus tips, English Peas and Parmesan Cream
1 tablespoons EVOO
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- ½ cup morels, chopped or other wild mushroom
- ½ cup asparagus tips, blanched, sliced
- ½ cup peas, blanched
- ½ cup white wine
- 2 tablespoons salted butter, diced, cold
- 1 cup cream , reduced by half, held warm
- 2 ounce grated aged parmesan cheese
- 1 cup arugula
- A few shavings of parmesan
- 4 pieces pancetta or bacon, crisped
Place oil in a heated, medium sauté pan; add shallots and garlic, cooking until aromatic; add wine and cook to reduce liquid in pan by half; add asparagus, cooking to heat through; add peas and reduced cream with parmesan cheese. Place vegetable mixture over cavatelli and finish plate with fresh arugula and crisped pancetta, followed by a few more shavings of the cheese.