Wednesday, October 17, 2018

S is for: Sacchetti with Ricotta & Pears in a Brown Butter Fig Sauce

This was possibly one of my more ambitious blog posts.

Not only did I made homemade pasta sheets for the sacchetti (more on these little guys in a minute), but I also made homemade ricotta for the filling.

And then I also made a sauce.

And crispy prosciutto for a topping.

I was so tired by the time we got to the beauty shot, that I just threw everything onto the cutting board and told Justin to snap a few overheads and be done with it.

Turns out... I sort of love it. And speaking of love... this pasta was all sorts of heart-eye-emoji feels.

Speaking of which... Happy National Pasta Day!



Before we begin, let's talk about this adorable pasta shape for a second. I had no idea this pasta existed until a couple days ago. I knew I wanted to do pasta for "S," but I had originally planned to keep it simple and do a spinach spaghetti. Justin suggested a "stuffed" pasta. I then set out to find out if there was a stuffed pasta that also starts with "S." Turns out... there is! It's called sacchetti or sometimes sacchettoni. It roughly translates to "bag" or "pocket" because they look like little beggar's purses. They are stuffed, so you can fill them with similar ingredients as you would ravioli, agnolotti, tortellini, etc.


As for the ingredients... some of my favorite flavors are all whipped into one delightful dish. Ricotta, pear, rosemary and lemon zest for the filling.... egg and flour for the pasta... all topped off with a brown butter fig sauce and crispy prosciutto.... YUM.


First, you need some pasta dough. Now, you can absolutely buy fresh pasta sheets at the store, but that's not as fun (unless you are making lasagna rolls.) I wanted that bright yellow color in my pasta, so I decided to go with a classic egg pasta recipe, using this one from Serious Eats with extra egg yolks.

On a large, clean work surface (such as a marble countertop or large cutting board), pour flour in a mound. Make a well in the center about 4 inches wide. Lightly whisk whole eggs, egg yolks, and salt in a measuring cup and then pour into the well. Gradually incorporate flour into the eggs until a wet, sticky dough has formed. (Judging by this photo, I clearly have not mastered this technique yet. LOL. It's ok though, if liquid starts running over the side, just scrape it back with a bench knife.) You can also do this in a large bowl, which is a little cleaner.


Using a bench knife, scrape excess dough from fork and fingers. Begin to fold additional flour into the dough, turning the dough roughly 45 degrees each time, until dough feels firm and dry, and can form a craggy-looking ball, 2 to 5 minutes.


Now you NEED to KNEAD. (pasta puns FTW, haha.) Press the heel of your hand into the ball of dough, pushing forward and down. Rotate the ball 45 degrees and repeat. Continue until dough develops a smooth, elastic texture similar to a firm ball of Play-Doh. If dough feels too wet, add flour in 1 teaspoon increments. If dough feels too dry, add a teaspoon or so of water slowly. At this point, wrap it in plastic and allow to rest for 30-40 minutes while you prep other ingredients.


While the dough rests, make the filling by combining 1 cup of whole milk ricotta cheese (homemade if you are ambitious like me), 1/4 cup of freshly grated Parmesan, one finely diced pear, and a little fresh rosemary.


Also fry prosciutto in a little olive oil until crispy and drain on a paper towel lined plate.


Once dough has rested, dust your cutting board with more flour and cut the dough ball into quarters. Re-wrap three of them while you work with the first one. With a rolling pin, flatten into an oblong disc, about 1/2" thick.


Starting with your pasta roller at the lowest/widest setting, start rolling out your dough. I like to run mine through setting #1 a couple of times, before folding it over in thirds and running it through again. After it's passed through a few times at that setting, gradually start moving it up to higher settings, until you have nice, thin sheets (my last setting was #5.) It should now be delicate and elastic to the touch, and slightly translucent.


Move to a lightly floured work surface and using a large, round cookie cutter (at least 3.5 or 4 inches in diameter), cut out pasta rounds. (You can use the scraps for rustic pasta, or try re-rolling through the pasta machine if it's not too dry or tough by that point.) Place rounds on a lightly floured sheet pan and cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap to keep them from drying out. Repeat with the 3 remaining pieces of dough.


When you're read to fill the pasta, wet the edges of each round and place a teaspoon of filling in the center. (Avoid the urge to over-fill, otherwise the filling will squeeze out the top.) Gather the edges and pinch together at the top.


How cute are these little pouches?!? (They sort of reminded me of the soup dumplings I made last year.)


CONFESSION: After I had enough for the blog photo, I sort of got lazy and just started making giant raviolis. I'm including it here as another option, as they are equally delicious, just a bigger portion (and you will obviously have less of them since they take two rounds to make.)


When you are ready to eat, drop the pasta pouches in salted, boiling water and cook until they start floating and the pasta is cooked al dente, about 4-5 minutes. Drain and toss with brown butter fig sauce.


Speaking of which, you can start the sauce when you set the pot of water on the stove to start boiling. Melt an entire stick of butter (yes, a whole stick) and cook down until the milk solids start to brown. Add in some sliced figs and sage leaves and season with a little salt (unless you are using salted butter.)


Add in the cooked pasta, and allow to get a bit of a crust. (They sort of reminded me of little pot-stickers!)


Spoon onto a plate with some of the sauce and garnish with some fresh fig slices and top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.


Oh, and also add those crispy bits of prosciutto you fried up earlier (it probably feels like ages ago.)


At this point, I won't even blame you if you just start digging in right at the kitchen counter. They're that good. (And I was that hungry.)



Happy National Pasta Day! How are you celebrating?

Ricotta & Pear Sacchetti with Brown Butter Fig Sauce

by Jaymee Sire
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Keywords: entree prosciutto pears ricotta pasta Italian

Ingredients (20-24 sacchetti)
    For the pasta dough: (adapted from serious eats)
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
    • 2 whole large eggs
    • 4 yolks from 4 large eggs
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    For the filling:
    • 1 cup whole milk ricotta
    • 1 pear (peeled, cored and finely diced)
    • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary (use 1 teaspoon if not making homemade
    • ricotta recipe)
    • zest from one lemon (if not making homemade ricotta recipe)
    For the crispy prosciutto:
    • 3-4 prosciutto slices, diced
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    For the brown butter fig sauce:
    • 1 stick of unsalted butter
    • 3 figs, sliced
    • 8-10 sage leaves
    • salt, to taste
    For garnish:
    • Crispy prosciutto (see above)
    • 2 figs, thinly sliced
    • freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    Instructions
    For the pasta dough:
    1. On a large, clean work surface (such as a marble countertop or large cutting board), pour flour in a mound. Make a well in the center about 4 inches wide. Lightly whisk whole eggs, egg yolks, and salt in a measuring cup and then pour into the well. Gradually incorporate flour into the eggs until a wet, sticky dough has formed. (You can also do this in a large bowl, which is a little cleaner.)
    2. Using a bench knife, scrape excess dough from fork and fingers. Begin to fold additional flour into the dough, turning the dough roughly 45 degrees each time, until dough feels firm and dry, and can form a craggy-looking ball, 2 to 5 minutes.
    3. Knead the dough: Press the heel of your hand into the ball of dough, pushing forward and down. Rotate the ball 45 degrees and repeat. Continue until dough develops a smooth, elastic texture similar to a firm ball of Play-Doh. If dough feels too wet, add flour in 1 teaspoon increments. If dough feels too dry, add a teaspoon or so of water slowly. At this point, wrap it in plastic and allow to rest for 30-40 minutes while you prep other ingredients.
    4. Once dough has rested, dust your cutting board with more flour and cut the dough ball into quarters. Re-wrap three of them while you work with the first one. With a rolling pin, flatten into an oblong disc, about 1/2" thick.
    5. Starting with your pasta roller at the lowest/widest setting, start rolling out your dough. Feed dough through setting #1 a couple of times, before folding it over in thirds and running it through again and repeating the process. After it's passed through a few times at that setting, gradually start moving it up to higher settings, until you have nice, thin sheets (my last setting was #5.) It should now be delicate and elastic to the touch, and slightly translucent.
    6. Move to a lightly floured work surface and using a large, round cookie cutter (at least 3.5 inches), cut out pasta rounds. (You can use the scraps for rustic pasta, or try re-rolling through the pasta machine if it's not too dry or tough by that point.) Place rounds on a lightly floured sheet pan and cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap to keep them from drying out. Repeat with the 3 remaining pieces of dough.

    For the filling:
    1. Combine whole milk ricotta, freshly grated Parmesan, diced pear, and fresh rosemary. Refrigerate until you are ready to use.

    For the crispy prosciutto:
    1. Heat frying pan on medium-high heat. Add olive oil. Once oil is hot, add prosciutto pieces and fry until crispy. Remove to a paper towel lined plate until ready to use.

    For the brown butter fig sauce:
    1. Heat a wide, heavy-bottomed pan and place it over medium-low heat.
    2. Add the butter. As it melts, continuously swirl the butter around the pan.
    3. Add sliced figs and sage.
    4. Keep swirling the butter over the heat until it is light brown in color and smells nutty. Take it off the heat and toss with freshly cooked sacchetti or ravioli.

    For the Sacchetti:
    1. When you're read to fill the pasta, wet the edges of each round and place a teaspoon of filling in the center. (Avoid the urge to over-fill, otherwise the filling will squeeze out the top.) Gather the edges and pinch together at the top.
    2. When you are ready to eat, drop the pasta pouches in salted, boiling water and cook until they start floating and the pasta is cooked al dente, about 4-5 minutes. Drain and toss with brown butter fig sauce.
    3. Plate and serve with fresh sliced figs and top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and crispy prosciutto.
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    2 comments:

    1. This looks awesome. You've inspired me to break out the pasta maker.

      ReplyDelete

    I would LOVE to hear what you think. I read every comment and get a little giddy when I see someone has left one on the blog. Thanks for stopping by!

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