Somewhat like pizzocheri, where taleggio and cabbage are involved, this is a rib-sticking pasta dish that’s big on flavour.
- 200 g waxy potatoes (such as desiree), peeled, finely diced
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 100 g gorgonzola or other blue cheese
- 2 tbsp grated parmesan
- 50 g butter
- 20 sage leaves
- 150 g (1 cup) buckwheat flour
- 150 g (1 cup) ‘00’ pasta flour (see Note)
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Resting time 30 minutes
To make pasta, combine flours and place in a mound on a clean work surface. Make a well in the centre and add eggs. Using a fork, draw in flour, working from the centre outwards, then using your hands, work in remaining flour until smooth, adding a splash more water if necessary. Knead for 5 minutes, then divide into 4 portions. Wrap in plastic wrap and set aside for 30 minutes.
Using a rolling pin, roll out dough until 5 mm thick and about 12 cm wide – nearly the width of your pasta machine.
Set your pasta machine at its widest setting, then feed dough through, narrowing the settings one notch at a time until you reach the thinnest setting. Cut into 2 cm-wide strips about 15 cm long. Repeat with remaining dough.
Place 5 litres of water in a large saucepan and bring to the boil over high heat. Add enough salt to give the dish flavour – Italians would use 50 g, which is a lot. Add potatoes and cook for 8 minutes or until tender, then add pasta and cook for 2 minutes or until al dente.
Preheat oven to 120°C. Roughly drain pasta so there’s a little cooking water left, and toss through olive oil. Divide pasta and potatoes between 4 flat, ovenproof bowls. Dot with gorgonzola and sprinkle with parmesan. Pop the plates in the oven while you finish the sage.
Heat butter in a small frying pan over high heat and add sage, shaking pan constantly. As butter starts to froth, remove bowls from oven. Once butter starts to turn nut-brown, quickly spoon sage and butter over each dish and serve immediately.
• ‘00’ pasta flour or doppio-zero flour is a super-fine Italian flour grade that’s traditionally used for making pasta. It is available from supermarkets and delis. Substitute plain flour.
Photography Alan Benson. Food preparation John McFarlane. Styling Michelle Crawfod.
As seen in Feast magazine, September 2014, Issue 35.