Do you like dipping your bread into olive oil or using it to mop up the sauce on your plate? If so, then you need to know about testaroli, the Tuscan dish of crêpe-like pancakes that are treated like pasta and tossed with pesto sauce. Here's how to make them at home.
'italian' on Serious Eats
In Italian, a pasticcio is a mess. In the case of polenta pasticciata, it's a glorious, wonderful, rib-sticking mess, made by layering soft polenta with lasagna-like fillings, then baking it until browned on top. Here, we fill it with a rich mushroom ragù, then drizzle a cheesy Parmesan cream all over it.
This deeply flavorful sauce, made from both fresh and dry mushrooms, tomatoes, white wine, and aromatic vegetables, is so hearty, you won't believe it contains no meat. It's delicious on pasta or polenta.
There are a lot of rules people say you need to follow to make polenta, like using a wooden spoon, stirring in only one direction, adding the polenta to boiling water, and stirring constantly. Forget those. What's really important is using the right ratio of liquid to cornmeal and cooking the polenta long enough for the cornmeal to properly hydrate and cook.
Fresh ricotta gnocchi may be the fastest fresh-pasta recipe I know. With a little practice, I've gotten it down to under ten minutes (8 minutes 53 seconds, to be precise). But the great part about this recipe is that it serves as a suitable base for a huge variety of sauces and flavors. For instance, last week a friend of mine brought over some delicious first-of-the-season fresh asparagus which we combined with prosciutto and an easy cream sauce to make a delicious impromptu (and fast!) meal on the spot.
Deep purple-red beets are used to transform classic fresh egg pasta into an eye-catching but simple main course. The root vegetable is boiled and puréed before it's mixed into the dough. The result is a neutral-flavored pasta that pairs well with a wide range of different sauces and fillings.
We've shown you how to make classic fresh egg pasta; now we're taking it one step further, with a bright green dough, naturally colored with a spinach purée. The result is a versatile, neutral-flavored pasta that can be used for noodles, ravioli, tortellini, and beyond.
You can stop at classic fresh egg pasta, or you can transform the pale yellow noodles into a rich orange hue. This recipe is as easy to make as traditional Italian pasta, only it's colored with some added tomato paste. It yields a tender and delicate neutral-flavored pasta that goes with just about anything.
Aromatic squid ink is used to color this classic fresh egg pasta and give it a silky black hue. But while it may smell strong, the resulting noodles are relatively neutral in flavor. It's traditional to pair them with seafood, but they'll taste good with any sauce or added ingredients that play well with a subtle hint of brininess.
Deep-fried artichokes may be one of the best examples of the Roman-Jewish mastery of deep frying techniques. Shatteringly crisp outside, tender within, and as pop-able as potato chips, this is the way we all should usher in spring.
We're not going to lie: Potato gnocchi can be a little tricky and require some practice to get right. But if you know a few basic rules, it's really not that hard to make ones that are light and tender, not leaden and gummy. This recipe walks you through those steps, starting with choosing a gnocchi-friendly potato and cooking it the right way; then we leave it up to you whether to add egg yolk or not (yolks make a dough that's easier to work with, but also firmer); and finally we add just enough flour to make a cohesive dough while being careful not to overwork it to the point of gumminess. The result are lovely little gnocchi in a sage-butter sauce that will prove that good gnocchi aren't out of reach.
I love gnocchi. At least, I love the gnocchi in my mind. Light, pillowy, flavor-packed, they're the perfect vessel for a good red sauce. The big problem? Potato gnocchi take a long time and are far from foolproof. Say hello to their quick, easy, and delicious ricotta-based cousins.
Long before ships brought native crops from the Americas to Europe, Italy was a land without red sauce, corn polenta, or potato gnocchi. But even without the potato, gnocchi still existed, such as in the form of the classic gnocchi alla Romana, this custardy oven-baked version made with semolina, egg, cheese, and butter. You could say these are the OG: the original gnocchi.
There's a version of pasta e fagioli for just about every region, province and household in Italy, from brothy ones packed with vegetables to creamy ones made only with beans and pasta. This one belongs to that latter group, and the secret to its greatness is all in the beans themselves.
Bagna cauda, the Northern Italian sauce of anchovies and garlic melted into butter and olive oil, is traditionally used as a dip for vegetables, but it's also a killer quick and easy pan sauce for steak.
Picture this: gorgeous oversized ravioli filled with a ring of creamy ricotta surrounding a perfectly intact, perfectly runny yolk. They're rich, delicious, and freaking beautiful.
Classic homemade ricotta ravioli gets some tang from Parmesan cheese, a tart squeeze of lemon juice, and a subtle hit of nutmeg. All it needs is a splash of olive oil and it's ready to serve.
A sweet and funky butternut squash and blue cheese-stuffed homemade ravioli, served in a brown butter sauce with frizzled sage.
Deeply flavored roasted zucchini and tomatoes are the star of the dish; pasta just plays a supporting role. Slow-cooking garlic and rosemary infuses olive oil with flavor that fills the entire bowl, while a dusting of our dehydrated olive and miso shake gives it over-the-top savory flavor.
Turning a bean purée into a pasta sauce may sound strange, but just think of it as a variation on the classic Italian soup pasta e fagioli, just with a lot more pasta and only enough "soup" to coat the noodles. It's delicious, and it just happens to be vegan (though we won't snitch if you decide to add grated parm to it).