Ciao Italia Family Classics
Mary Ann returns to her family's humble beginnings to bring us a treasure trove of more than 200 time-honored recipes.
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When my mother made pasta the scraps that were too dry to put through her pasta machine were cut by hand into squares that resembled little patches. They were combined with sweet peas, bits of bacon or ham, and onions. I like this dish so much that I make extra pasta dough to satisfy my craving. While this dish is my comfort food, it can also serve as a first course for a dinner party.
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups King Arthur™ Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
4 ounces prosciutto or pancetta, chopped
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen and thawed peas
1/2 cup hot chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus additional for serving
Mound the flour on a work surface and sprinkle on the salt. Make a well in the center of the mound and crack the eggs into it. Gently mix the eggs with a fork and start working in the flour from the inside of the well. When the mixture is no longer easy to move with a fork, use your hands to work the ingredients into a smooth ball of dough. You may not need all the flour. Cover the dough with a bowl and let it rest for 10 minutes.
Divide the dough in half and work with 1 piece at a time. Flatten the dough with a rolling pin and run it through a pasta machine set to the thinnest setting. Cut the dough in half lengthwise with a pastry wheel or knife. Then cut 2-inch squares or “patches” from each piece. Repeat with the remaining dough. Place the pieces on a lightly floured cloth in a single layer.
In a skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil and sauté the onion slices until soft. Add the prosciutto or pancetta, and sauté for 3 or 4 minutes, or until it begins to brown. Add the broth and peas. Simmer the mixture for about 3 minutes, or until the peas are tender but not mushy. Add salt and pepper and keep the mixture warm but uncovered.
In a large pot, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add the patches and cook them until al dente. Drain the patches in a colander, place them in a serving bowl with the butter and cheese, and mix well. Serve at once and pass additional cheese.
Note: Instead of cutting square patches by hand, place each sheet of dough over the teeth of a ravioli form and roll over it with a rolling pin to form the pieces.
This recipe is from Nella Cucina by Mary Ann Esposito, published by William Morrow and Company, Inc., in 1993.
This recipe was featured on show 412 – Mom’s Food.
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