(Pasta ‘Carmella’ with ricotta and parsley in sweet pepper fondue).
4 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
4 extra large eggs
½ c. water
¼ t. salt
4 oz. fresh spinach, trimmed of stems (about 2 ½ cups) steamed and pureed.
8 oz fresh, well-drained ricotta cheese (Italian sheep’s milk ricotta if available).
4 oz. fresh, curly leaf parsley (without stems), steamed, drained and pureed.
1/8 t. freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 t. ground white pepper
1 egg yolk
1/8 t. salt – optional
¼ c. freshly grated Parmesan cheesej
1 large red sweet pepper or 2 small sweet red peppers
2 medium sized onions
¼ c. peanut oil
2 c. chicken or beef stock
2 T. butter
1/8 t. salt & pepper each
1 qt. water
1/8 t. salt
Measure 2 cups flour on pasta board (or other large wooden board). Make a well in the center and add two eggs, 1/8 teaspoon salt and ¼ cup water. Mix eggs with a fork. Using the palms of your hands knead with mixture for 10-15 minutes or until all the flour has been incorporated and the dough forms a smooth ball. Cover with damp towel and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
Mix the ricotta, steamed pureed parsley, parmesan, nutmeg and pepper well. If using the sheep’s milk ricotta, this is salty on its own and may not need more salt, so you must salt to taste. Add the egg yolk and mix thoroughly or place in the food processor for about 30 seconds to mixs. Refrigerate until ready for final assembly.
Place the red pepper(s) in a pre-heated hot (450°) oven for 10-15 minutes. Take out of oven and place in a paper bag for 10 minutes. Peel, seed and cut the red pepper in small dices. Thinly slice the onions. Sauté the onions in peanut oil over low heat, stirring continuously for 10 minutes. Add the red pepper and the chicken or beef stock. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes until almost all of the liquid has evaporated. Place the red pepper mixture in the blender or food processor and puree. Set aside until ready to serve. When ready to serve, add 1/8 teaspoon of salt and pepper each and one tablespoon of butter, cooking over low heat for 2-3 minutes.
Roll out the white dough until thin. Pass through the largest opening of your past machine one time, fold into thirds and pass through a second time, being careful to handle the pasta with the palms of your hands only and gently unfolding it as it passes through the pasta machine. Adjust the setting to the next smaller opening and pass the pasta through it again. Sprinkle the pasta with flour after passing it through the pasta machine each time. Lay the pasta on a floured cotton towel and cover with towel until ready to use.
Repeat this process for the spinach pasta.
After the white and spinach pastas have been rolled through the pasta machine, cut the spinach pasta into 1” wide vertical strips with a pasta cutter. Take the white pasta from the towel and lay it vertically. It should be about 6” wide or the width of your pasta machine. Lay the first strip of spinach pasta on top of the white pasta 1” from the edge. Leaave a 2” center of white pasta and then lay a second 1” strip of spinach pasta on top of the white pasta, with a 1” strip of white pasta on the other side. The pasta will then have a white stripe, a green stripe, white, green and white stripe. Trim 1/8” from the outside of the white pasta to even the edges. Carefully lift the layers of pasta and pass them as you have arranged them in alternating colors through the machine on the next two widest settings to fuse the two pastas together. After you have passed the pastas through the pasta machine, sprinkle it with flour. The pasta will be about 6” wide, with vertical green and white stripes. Cut the 6” wide pasta every 5” to make rectangles. Turn the rectangles over with the stripes facing vertically. Fill the rectangle with 1 tablespoon of the ricotta filling and roll the rectangle up into a cigar shape. Twist the ends of the roll like a candy wrapping.
Bring 1 quart of water with 1/8 teaspoon of salt to a rolling boil. Cook the caramella for about 6 minutes. Warm the red pepper fondue and spoon the sauce onto a warm plate. Place the drained caramella over the sauce and serve.