Reheating time: 7-12 minutes- boil water!
Fresh pasta truly belongs in an entirely different category of pastas. The difference is astronomical. I am not bashing dried pasta- it has its time and place, for sure. In fact, I love dried pasta- for certain applications, it just works better. But not tonight. Rachel has been digging around the culinary world for months trying to find a local pasta producer that can handle our volume (not an easy task), and coincidentally, just as I was confirming our order with New York Pasta & Ravioli Co., she found one. Figures. I love NYCR&P, a family-owned business that started post-depression in NYC. They have been praised for decades for their consistency, and I was glad to see that they tasted just as good up here in Boston. However, this is our first (and last) time using them, as Rachel worked her magic and put us in touch with a Somerville based pasta mogul- and they ain’t scared. Keep an eye out for who we’re talking about… I’m sure they will make an appearance on a menu soon. In the meantime, tonight’s dinner is a homage to the beauty and simplicity of good pasta. Fresh tortellini, pancetta, kale, a creamy sauce, these things just make you happy. With a fresh arugula and shaved fennel salad and some of Chef Ambo’s booooomb foccacia, we got a dinner, folks. Get in there!
For the pasta:
Get that water boiling! Bring a healthy amount of h2o to a boil, and add some salt. While you wait, warm the pancetta garlic cream over medium-low heat in a large saucepot. Don’t thin it out yet unless it’s being really difficult to heat up- we will add some pasta water later in the process to thin out the sauce. Keeping the heat low is important- if you boil it, the sauce will break, which is no fun. Once the pasta is boiling, drop the tortellini right in there, and give them a stir to separate. Boil for 2-4 minutes (depending on how you like your pasta cooked- I usually go less time cause I like some tooth, and I’m impatient). Once the pasta is cooked, strain them out and reserve a splash of the pasta water. Add the tortellini to the pancetta garlic cream, and stir to coat. Add a splash of the pasta water- the starch in here will help the sauce cling to the pasta. Stir it all up, reduce if it’s too thin, or add more pasta water if it’s too thick. Once it’s ready, spoon the tortellini into a shallow bowl, and top with the chestnut mint gremolata.
For the salad:
Love a good arugula salad. This one’s packed with shaved fennel, garlic breadcrumbs, and parmesan (yeah I know the menu says pecorino, game time decision said parm would be better). Toss the leaves and shaved veggies in a bowl, mix em all up to disperse everything evenly, and drizzle the sherry vinaigrette on top. Turn the leaves over themselves to coat evenly with the dressing, give a season with some salt and black pepper, and dive into leavy bliss
For the focaccia:
We’re loving this focaccia! Yeast is amazing. This particular recipe is a bit finicky, and sometimes you feel like the yeast is working against you in an effort to ruin your entire day. Today we all worked together. So sweet! Toast up the bread in a toaster or oven- it will be your utensil of choice when scooping up any leftover sauce. Yum!
Thanks for ordering!
Wow. You guys really love soup. I think this is the biggest turnout we have seen yet for a second option. You did it, you broke us. We cannot comprehend how or why this soup is so popular. But, it’s probably just the fact that we are so used to eating delicious stuff every day, and we forget how delicious everything actually is. The lens of perception. This soup is really good. Whether you are enjoying this as an addition to your pasta feast, or just by itself, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be excited. I feel like a hype man, just trying to pump people up about soup. I mean, it’s just soup. But come on, can I hear a SOUP?! Souuuuuuuuup!!!
I get it though. I really do. Snowstorm yesterday, cold night tonight, soup goes great with winter weather. Warms you right from the inside out. On the subject of soup, I really want to do ramen again- but it wasn’t so popular last time. Please, if you’re reading this, send an email about how much you want ramen so I can convince everyone to let me put it on the menu again. I need your help 🙂
Tonight’s soup is roasted butternut- starchy sweet butternut squashes are roasted till dark and caramelized, then blended with aromatics, caramelized onions, and cream. Topped with some marcona almonds and fried sage, and with your very own roasted pepper gastrique to drizzle on top, only thing that would make this better is some bread. And you got that too. To reheat, simply warm the soup in a saucepot over medium low heat until it’s piping hot. While the soup warms, toast up that baguette! Portion into bowls, top with a drizzle of the gastrique, and enjoy!