November 5th, 2013
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman have been friends since childhood - that is after the two of them got past the habit of badmouthing each other every time their rival Catholic schools met on the playing field. Though the duo were born and raised in Memphis, both come from large, Italian-American families that ritualize meals and celebrate their culinary heritage.

The two 2013 Food & Wine Best New Chefs preserve and progress their dual Southern/Italian culture at their restaurants Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen and Hog & Hominy. Their recently-published cookbook, "Collards and Carbonara" shares many of the techniques and recipes, so their ever-growing fan base can explore this soulful, seasonal meld at home.

And you can't nail the Italian half of the equation without mastering fresh pasta. Here are five shapes that - with a little practice - may make you say "Ciao!" to the boxed stuff for good.

Five classic pasta shapes to make at home: Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman

1. Sciatelli
"When we were studying in Calabria, this was the pasta that we had the privilege to eat every Sunday. It is labor-intensive, so you rarely see it anymore, but we want to keep it alive. Supposedly, it was originally shaped with broom bristles, which eventually were replaced by metal rods similar to the wire used to make coat hangers. We watched our instructor make this dish one day, took notes like crazy, and all I could think about was what would happen if we couldn't re-create it back home. Michael mastered it on the first try. I made him write down everything he did, step-by-step." – Andy

To make sciatelli:
Make basic pasta dough as directed. Roll the pasta dough twice through a standard pasta machine on the number 1 setting. Lay 1 pasta sheet on a work surface and, using a sharp knife, cut the sheet lengthwise into strips 2 inches (5 cm) wide.

Roll 
up the strips into rods. Cut the rods into 2-inch (5-cm) pieces. Using a wooden skewer or a thin metal rod (about the diameter of a coat hanger), place the cut pasta onto the skewer and roll it around the skewer into a noodle. Give a gentle twist and pull to remove the skewer and leave a small hole through the pasta.

Place the noodles, not touching, on a semolina-dusted baking sheet.

– Basic Pasta Dough
Makes about 2 lb (1 kg)
4 large eggs

1 tablespoon olive oil

8 cups (21⁄2 lb/1.25 kg) 00 flour


In a large liquid measuring pitcher, combine the eggs, oil, and enough lukewarm water to measure 21∕2 cups
(20 fl oz/625 ml). Whisk until well blended.

Put the flour in a large bowl
 and make a well in the center. Pour 2 cups (16 fl oz/500 ml) of the egg-oil mixture into the well. Then, using a fork, slowly draw the flour into the egg-oil mixture. Continue to incorporate the flour until 
all of it is combined with the liquid and 
a shaggy dough has formed. Add more egg-oil mixture if needed to help the dough come together.

Once the dough comes together, turn it out of the bowl onto a clean work surface and knead until it is smooth and has nice elasticity (it should spring back immediately when you press it with a fingertip), about 10 minutes. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let rest for 45 minutes before using.

2. Gnocchi
"Gnocchi will always be on our menu in some fashion. We have a special board on which we roll the finished dumplings to create grooves in which the sauce can catch. For me, making the little potato dumplings is a form of meditation. Everything else falls away." – Michael

To make gnocchi:
4 russet potatoes
2 large egg yolks

15 grates fresh nutmeg

Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper
2 cups (10 oz/315 g) 00 flour

To make the gnocchi, preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Using a fork, poke holes all over the potatoes. Put them on the oven rack and bake until very tender when pierced with a knife, about 45 minutes.

Cut the potatoes open lengthwise across the top and let the steam escape. As soon
 as they are cool enough to handle, use a large spoon to scoop all of the potato flesh from the skins. Put the still-warm potato flesh in a food mill set over a bowl and
 turn the crank until all the potato flesh is in the bowl; do this quickly as you don’t want the flesh to cool completely before you make the dough.

Using a kitchen scale, weigh out 2 lb (1 kg) of the potato flesh and place in a bowl. Add the egg yolks, nutmeg, a large pinch of salt, and 4 turns pepper and mix well with a wooden spoon or your hands. Add 11⁄2 cups (71⁄2 oz/235 g) of the flour and use your hands to incorporate it gently into the dough. Take care not to over-mix or the gnocchi will be heavy. Add additional flour a tablespoon at a time if the dough seems too wet.

On a clean work surface, divide the dough into 4 pieces. Working with 1 dough piece at a time, shape it into a short cylinder. Place the fingers of both hands on the cylinder and roll it back and forth on the clean surface (flour on the surface will make it difficult to roll the cylinders), gradually shifting your hands to the ends, to form a log about 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter. Make logs out of the remaining 3 dough pieces.

Next, using a knife, cut each log into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces. Roll each piece across a gnocchi board to create grooves in which the sauce can collect. If you don’t have a gnocchi board, gently press the tines of a fork into the top surface of each piece of gnocchi.

3. Pappardelle
On this wide noodle that stands up to heavier ingredients, Andy says, "When I was growing up, my mom made the best pot roast with potatoes and carrots, and this recipe is an homage to that memorable dish. It was a perfect meal during cold-weather months, and I can remember coming indoors from playing football in the front yard and the house would smell like beef stew. Michael wanted to bring out the red wine in the dish, so we decided to start the pasta with wine rather than water."

To make red wine pappardelle
4 large eggs Extra-virgin olive oil
About 2 cups (16 fl oz/500 ml) dry red wine
8 cups (21⁄2 lb/1.25 kg) 00 flour
Semolina flour for dusting

Crack the eggs into a large liquid measuring pitcher and add 2 glugs (about 2 tablespoons) of olive oil. Pour the wine into the pitcher until it measures 21∕2 cups (20 fl oz/625 ml) total liquid. Whisk the ingredients together.

Put the flour in a bowl and make a well in the center. Pour the wine mixture into the well. Using your hands, work the liquid into the flour until the mixture starts to come together in a ball. Turn the dough ball out onto a clean work surface and knead the dough until it is smooth and has nice elasticity (it should spring back immediately when you press it with a fingertip), about 10 minutes.

Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.

To form the pasta sheets, roll the pasta dough through a standard pasta machine to the number 4 setting. Working with 1 sheet at a time, dust it on both sides with flour and lay it on a work surface. Cut the sheet lengthwise into sections 8 inches (20 cm) long. Using a fluted or straight pasta cutter, cut down the length of the pasta sheet to make noodles about 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide.

Place the noodles, not touching, on a semolina-dusted baking sheet.

4. Malfatti
"Malfatti means 'poorly made' or 'misshapen.' We like the notion that not all food needs to be perfect to be delicious, so we purposely make our malfatti into slightly different sizes. Our favorite dough for malfatti is made from pumpkin puree, which we make in the fall and winter when we get fresh pumpkins from our local farm." – Michael

To make pumpkin malfatti
Make the pumpkin malfatti dough as directed. On a clean work surface, divide the dough into 4 pieces. Working with 1 dough piece at a time, and covering the unused portions of the dough with a damp kitchen towel as you work, shape it into a short cylinder.

Place the fingers of both hands on the cylinder and roll it back and forth on the work surface, gradually shifting your hands to the ends, to form a log about 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter.

Next, using a knife, cut each log into about 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces. Roll each piece across a gnocchi board to create grooves in which the sauce can collect. If you don’t have a gnocchi board, gently press the tines of a fork into the top surface of each piece of malfatti.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When the water is boiling, drop in the malfatti and cook until they float to the top, then set a kitchen timer and cook for 5 more minutes.

– Pumpkin Malfatti Dough
Makes about 2 lb (1 kg)
1 cup (8 oz/250 g) pumpkin purée, homemade (page 235) or canned
1 cup (8 oz/250 g) good-quality fresh ricotta cheese
2 large eggs
1⁄4 cup (1 oz/30 g) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Finely grated zest of 1 orange

12 grates fresh nutmeg

Pinch of kosher salt

4 cups (11⁄4 lb/625 g) 00 flour


Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin purée, ricotta, eggs, Parmigiano-Reggiano, orange zest, nutmeg, and salt and mix well with a wooden spoon. Add the flour, 1 cup (5 oz/155 g) at a time, and use your hands to incorporate the ingredients until they come together in a ball.

The less flour you add, the less dense the dough will be. You’re aiming for a texture that is slightly heavier than potato gnocchi but with a strong pumpkin flavor.

5. Strozzapreti
"This little pasta has some interesting stories behind it's name, which translates literally to 'priest' stranglers.' Our favorite story is the one about a rotund priest in a small town in Emilia-Romagna who ate the pasta only once a year. Avoiding gluttony was not his strong suit, however, so on that day he would cram as much of the pasta as fast as he could down his gullet until he nearly choked to death. Our version of the dish (with rabbit ragu, pictured above) came from a play on rabbits eating carrots." – Michael

To make Strozzapreti
Make the carrot-top pasta dough as directed. To form the pasta sheets, roll the pasta dough through a standard pasta machine to the number 4 setting.

Working with 1 sheet of pasta at a time, and covering the unused portions of the dough with a damp kitchen towel as you work, cut the sheet lengthwise down the center. Using a sharp knife, cut the sheet crosswise into 1∕2-inch (12-mm) strips.

To form the shapes, take 2 of the strips and, using your fingers, pinch them together in the center. Roll them back and forth in the palm of your hand, so that the pieces adhere in the center but the ends are still separate.

The finished shapes will resemble a cross between cavatelli (oblong pasta shells) and bow ties. As the strozzapreti are formed, place them, not touching, on a semolina-dusted baking sheet.

– Carrot-top pasta dough
Makes about 2 lb (1 kg)
12 oz (375 g) carrot tops

8 cups (21⁄2 lb/1.25 kg) 00 flour

4 large egg yolks

Extra-virgin olive oil

Semolina flour for dusting


Bring a large saucepan of salted water
 to a boil, add the carrot tops, and blanch just to set the color, about 30 seconds. Plunge the carrot tops into ice water 
to lock in the color, then drain and transfer to a blender.

Add 2 cups (16 fl oz/500 ml) water and purée until smooth. Pour the purée through a fine-mesh sieve into
a large measuring pitcher, add the egg yolks and 3 glugs (about 3 tablespoons) 
of olive oil, and whisk until blended.


Put the flour in a large bowl and make
 a well in the center. Pour 2 cups of the carrot top–egg mixture into the well. Then, using a fork, slowly draw the flour into the egg mixture. Continue to incorporate the flour until all of it is combined with the liquid and a shaggy dough has formed. Add more carrot top-egg mixture if needed to help the dough come together.

Once the dough comes together, turn it out of the bowl onto a clean work surface and knead until it is smooth and has nice elasticity (it should spring back immediately when you press it with a fingertip), about 10 minutes. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes before using.

Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.

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Filed under: 5@5 • Italian • Make • Pasta • Recipes • Staples • Think


soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. macksmith345

    Hmm,
    Pumpkin Malfatti Dough was awesome I loved it when I make it I don't think that my first attempt was that much successful at that time I was shocked.

    .........................................................

    Corporate Catering Service Melbourne

    April 1, 2014 at 5:57 am | Reply
  2. denisdawei

    Reblogged this on ¿Cheeoose?.

    November 11, 2013 at 7:25 pm | Reply
  3. Gnocci Maker

    My family recipe for gnocci is a little different, but this one sounds good too. I've never tried nutmeg in the noodles.

    Perhaps this is the poor person's version of gnocci, but we cut the dough into small pieces, flatten a piece against the thumb, then gently run it up the small side of a cheese grater. It automatically curls into itself a bit, and gives the noodle a great texture.

    I absolutely love gnocci. It's a comfort food for me, and super filling. Plus, it freezes perfectly, so if you make a nice large batch, it'll last you awhile.

    November 6, 2013 at 2:00 pm | Reply
  4. Oofy Prosser

    "8 cups (21⁄2 lb/1.25 kg) 00 flour Semolina flour for dusting"

    Isn't that a lot of flour just for dusting? ;-)

    November 6, 2013 at 12:06 pm | Reply
    • Kat Kinsman

      Shoot - there should have been a line break. Fixed. Thank you!

      November 6, 2013 at 5:40 pm | Reply
  5. JellyBean

    That Gnocchi dish looks to die for. Thanks for the post.

    November 6, 2013 at 11:53 am | Reply
  6. Truth™

    Interesting!

    November 6, 2013 at 8:37 am | Reply

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