Thursday, 29 March 2012

Wrinkles and All!

Mafaldine con Sugo di Carne, Peperoni e Pomodorini
Mafaldini with a Ground Meat, Pepper and Cherry Tomato Sauce

Yes indeed, I love this kind of pasta- not despite it's wrinkles- but much rather because of them! This is a great pasta to make with sauce- the riffled edge makes it adhere better than to spaghetti for example and the flat surface takes up more volume of sauce- and what's not to love about that?

The way it feels on your tongue is wonderful though and that is my favorite thing about mafaldine- they tickle and tease and are just plain fun to eat! And with a tangy and fruity sauce like this to go with them, they go to make a real treat of a supper!

Let's begin with a little sofritto to make our sauce. For those of you who are not familiar with it, "sofritto" is the starting point of many Italian sauces and it consists of a fine dice of onion, carrot and celery, which are gently fried in a little olive oil (hence the name- fritto means fried), in a large frying pan. This serves as a great savory flavor base that can be added to. In this case I added ground beef and pork, very finely diced red pepper, basil, oregano, parsley and ramps as they are in season- otherwise I would have used a little crushed garlic. Salt, pepper and nutmeg to season, Tabasco to give a bit of a kick and we are getting closer...

Next, add a tablespoon or so ot tomato paste and allow this to fry for a minute or two- this makes the flavor fuller and milder. At this point, things will probably begin sticking to the bottom- but that is ok- those are just good flavors cooking down that are waiting to be unleashed on your eager taste buds. This time, for a change, I did that by deglazing the frying pan with a small glass of orange juice- which will create a cloud of steam and a wonderful aroma!

Let the sauce reduce and render down for a further 10 minutes- time enough to prepare the pasta. Boil the pasta as according to the instructions on the packet- 8-9 minutes is usually the average time so that should work out perfectly. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it, top it with the delicious sauce and serve with some fine, fresh shavings of parmesan and a sprinkle of cracked pepper corns... and Enjoy!