Spicy Orecchiette with Marinated White Beans and Baby Broccoli
This recipe serves 4.
For the dough…
Add 350 grams (~2¾ cups) of all-purpose or semolina flour to the bowl of a Cuisinart 14-Cup Food Processor with the steel blade attachment. With the machine running, gradually stream in 175 ml (~¾ cup) very warm water until the flour begins to hydrate and come together (you may not need all of the water). Pulse the mixture a few times more until it consistently resembles pearled couscous. If it looks dry and very crumbly, pulse in a bit more water in very small increments. Carefully transfer the mixture to a wooden surface and knead for about 5 minutes into a smooth, pliable ball. Wrap tightly in plastic and allow to rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and up to several hours.
For the pasta…
This dough can be used to create myriad hand-rolled pasta shapes, including cavatelli, gnocchetti sardi, orecchiette, lorighittas, and more. Choose your favorite and repeat the process until all of the dough has been used. Keep your pasta in a single layer on a coarse-floured sheet tray (semolina, cornmeal, and polenta are good options, or use a very light dusting of all-purpose flour) and allow to dry at room temperature until cooking. Check them every so often to make sure they aren’t sticking together.
If storing long-term, freeze the pasta on the sheet tray, making sure none of the pieces are touching, until solid, about 30 minutes to an hour. Once fully frozen, dust off any excess flour and transfer to a freezer-safe bag or container. The pasta will keep best for about a week, and well up to about a month. Fresh pasta will cook quickly, about 3-5 minutes (though taste constantly until it reaches your preferred doneness), and frozen pasta will take slightly longer, about 5 minutes.
For the sauce…
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for finishing
1 large shallot
6 garlic cloves
4 anchovy fillets (optional)
1 can white beans of choice, drained and rinsed
1-2 parmigiano reggiano rinds (optional)
¼ cup dry white wine
½ cup stock of choice
1 bunch broccolini, trimmed
1 teaspoon crushed Calabrian chilies or a generous pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
Roughly chopped herbs, for garnish
Thinly slice the shallot and garlic cloves. Using a vegetable peeler, peel off a few strips of lemon zest, avoiding the bitter white pith and set aside. Cut the broccolini stems into ¼-inch pieces and leave the florets intact.
Add the olive oil to a large saute pan (with a lid) over medium heat. Add the anchovies, if using, and sizzle, stirring, until broken down and dissolved, about 2-3 minutes. Add the shallot, garlic, and strips of lemon peel and cook until the garlic and shallot just begin to toast, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes, making sure the anchovies are not sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add the wine and scrape up any brown bits at the bottom of the pan, then follow with the beans, stock, and cheese rinds. Stir to combine, then cover and simmer over medium-low for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender. If the mixture begins to dry out, add a bit more stock to loosen. Add the broccolini and a bit of salt, toss to combine, and cook, covered, for another minute or two until broccolini is crisp-tender. Remove the sauce from the heat, season to taste with salt, pepper, and a generous squeeze of lemon juice. Remove the lemon peels and cheese rinds.
Cook pasta in well-salted water and return the sauce to medium heat. When cooked, transfer the pasta directly to the sauce with a small ladle of pasta water. Stir in the Calabrian chilies or red pepper flakes and cook briefly to meld the flavors, about 1-2 minutes. Finish with herbs, more good olive oil, and a dusting of cheese. Enjoy!