Yes, cibo speciale (special food). Since retiring from a pageant “diet” I’ve discovered a new passion for cooking and of course eating. It’s more than just eating, it’s taking simple ingredients, inspiration and love and turning it into something wonderful to share with others. Sometimes I end up with a failed attempt at a dish, but that just means I know what to fix the next time I dive into culinary bliss. Sometimes the secret of getting it right, is not following a recipe at all, but following your taste.
Pansoti, best described in my head as a pocket of pasta shaped like a pillow and stuffed with an interior of superior greatness. Maybe this is an exaggeration, but really, they are unbelievably wonderful. In fact, pansoti is derived from ‘pansa’ which means belly. They come from the Ligurian region of Italy (the north west coastal area) and I had the chance to try them in small little restaurant near Campomorone, GE, Italia.
This past Christmas (Natale) Roberto
regretfully gifted me an Atlas Pasta Machine, seen here in red. Oh goodness, the joy and excitement I had for this baby! He knows me too well and of course I immediately wanted to put it to use. I also know that I am (insert American term here) “adulting” because all things kitchen and home excite me like no other. There is nothing like a good ol’ bamboo spatula (yes, you heard that from me).
Now, the Atlas is pretty famous in Italy and in America for it’s superior quality and ease at making pasta. I will say that it assisted me wonderfully in creating my very own pansoti with the help of these handy ravioli cutters that I purchased off of Amazon. There is a ravioli attachment, but unfortunately I don’t have it yet. Fortunately, my birthday is coming up (hint, hint).
When it comes to making pasta, it’s incredibly facile (easy). The ingredients you need are only eggs, flour, and water…yep, that is it.
We used my (another “adulting” favorite) Kitchen Aid to mix together the pasta dough, but I always recommend that you start by hand, because it is super simple and fun! There is an art to kneading the dough by hand, and sometimes it’s fun to get your hands messy (hello Play-doh from Kindergarten).
For the interior of the pansoti (heavenly goodness), there is a green called Boragine in the original recipe, but we have had to improvise on our recent recipe since this is no where to be found in NYC. Instead, we put a mix of Barbabietola (beets), cavolo verza (kale), spinaci (spinach), Ricotta, Grana (un tipo di parmigiano – type of parmesan), sale (salt), pepe (pepper), maggiorana (spice), and uova (eggs).
*A note about Kale, you popular green you– your stems are TERRIBLE and they must be removed prior to cooking. Next time I will take out the kale for texture purposes, but it is mighty flavorful!*
I always freeze all of my pansoti on a tray in the freezer and then transfer to a freezer safe bag so that I can pop them in the water for a quick dinner or for when we have guests over. They pair well with sugo di noci (walnut sauce), which I will have to write about soon (because it will change your world), but you can see the finished product below from our dinner this past weekend.
Although you need to have patience for these (a big thank you to Roberto for helping me), they make for a great activity to do with others. One thing that I’m enjoying more and more is cooking things completely from scratch. It’s even more enjoyable when you get to sit down and enjoy the fruits of your labor with the ones that you love. Buon Appetito!
Con un amore per ricette liguri (with a love for Ligurian recipes),