This month's Hedley & Bennett In-The-Box Freebie (a fun little extra we add in every www.hedleyandbennett.com outgoing order) is brought to you by our pals at California Olive Ranch! These guys really push the boundaries to create a great product and really KNOW olive oil so we partnered with them, and famed Chef and friend Evan Funke to bring you a culinary adventure in pasta!
Handmade Cavatelli with Pesto Genovese
Total Time: 1¾ hours (includes resting dough) Serves: 4
FOR THE PASTA
250g durum wheat flour
115g mineral water
15g California Olive Ranch Arbequina XVO
Semolina for dusting
1. Dump flour on a wooden board and hollow out a well in center. Pour the mineral water into the well, then the COR Arbequina XVO. Using a fork as if scrambling eggs, gradually incorporate flour from inner walls of the well into the liquid. Once you reach a pancake batter-like consistency, use a bench scraper or knife to transfer remaining flour, a little at a time, into well, and incorporate. As dough comes together, press it into a loose, shaggy mass. Wash your hands and move dough to a clean surface, scraping up and transferring any flour and dough bits left on board.
2. Begin kneading dough by folding far edge toward you and pushing dough down and away with the heel of your hand. Rotate dough a quarter turn and repeat, continuing to turn, fold and push for 2-3 minutes. Dough will gradually come together into a semi-smooth mass, with all flour and dough bits incorporated. Clean work surface of any dried dough flakes and continue to knead dough gently until it is smooth and supple, and springs back when poked, 10-15 minutes more. If the dough is dry and tight, wrap in plastic and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes and continue kneading until smooth and supple. Wrap dough ball tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes, ideally 24 hours before using.
3. Remove dough from refrigerator and slice off a 1-inch section, then slice that in half. Roll both pieces against a wooden surface to form tubes slightly skinnier than your pinkie. Cut tubes into segments as long as your thumb is wide.
4. To begin shaping the cavatelli, stick your right thumb up and then turn hand so thumb is pointing left. Maintaining even pressure, use thumb to push a piece of dough forward and up, like an airplane taking off. The dough should spring up and form around the curve of your thumb. Use a bench scraper or knife to transfer cavatelli to a baking sheet covered in parchment paper and sprinkled with semolina, making sure no pieces of pasta touch. Continue until all dough is used. Let pasta dry slightly, 30-45 minutes.
FOR THE PESTO
250g fresh basil picked
60g toasted pine nuts
50g Parmigiano Reggiano
50g Pecorino Romano
10g peeled garlic
Pinch of salt
2.5 c COR Arbequina XVO
2 steel mixing bowls
Heavy bottom pot
In a high speed blender combine the pine nuts, both cheeses, garlic, salt and COR Arbequina XVO.
Blend on high until smooth and creamy.
Begin adding the basil leaves in small amounts until all the basil is blended smooth.
Pour the pesto into a metal mixing bowl over ice to cool and retain color
Once cool, leave at room temperature if using immediately or refrigerate for later use.
FOR THE PICK UP
Bring a pot of water to boil, season gently. The water should taste like soup, not like the ocean.
Drop the pasta and stir immediately to avoid any sticking.
While the pasta cooks, roughly 2 minutes, put a large sauté pan on gentle heat and add 2 tablespoons of pasta water per person.
Add the pesto.
Pull the pasta from the water with a spider or strain through a colander making sure to reserve a touch of the water
Add the pasta to the pesto and toss vigorously off the heat.
Serve on your favorite platter with a generous sprinkling of Parmigiano Reggiano.