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Pasta with Pistachio Ramp Pesto, Peas, and Ricotta

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Serves 4

Ingredient List
  • 2 bunch ramps (or 2 bunch scallions), about 10 ounces, whites or bulbs thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup pistachios, roasted
  • 1 cup basil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • zest of 2 lemons, divided
  • 1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano, plus more for serving
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons, divided
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 ounces capunti or trofie
  • 8 ounces peas
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta


Preheat oven to 350. Roast pistachios for 5 to 6 minutes.

Blanche the ramp leaves (dark green ends of scallions) in boiling water for about 20 seconds, shock immediately in an ice bath and strain, squeezing out excess liquid. Sauté bulbs (scallion whites and light greens) in olive oil until translucent.

Combine pistachios, ramp leaves, bulbs, basil, garlic, and zest of one lemon in a food processor. Process while slowly pouring 1/4 cup olive oil in until the contents are combined. Add the parmigiano, season with salt and pepper and process until the pesto is smooth, but slightly chunky still.

Sauté the peas in olive oil until they are bright green about 3 minutes. Set aside. Season the ricotta with salt pepper and lemon zest. Set aside for serving.
Cook the pasta until al dente. Reserve ½ cup of the salted pasta water and drain. In a large mixing bowl toss together the pasta, pesto, peas and a ¼ cup of pasta water. Continue toadd pasta water in small amounts until the pasta is well coated and glossy. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Divide into serving bowls and top with ricotta and parmigiano.

Buckwheat Bigoli

Buckwheat bigoli duck ragu20180323 27489 71tl9b
Buckwheat Bigoli Recipe
Yield: 16 portions
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 11/2 hours

Equipment: Torchio pasta extruder & Electric mixer (if using)

Ingredient list
  • 9 egg large yolks
  • 3 large whole eggs
  • 1 1/3 cup buckwheat flour
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups semolina, plus about 3 cups more for dusting while extruding
  • 1/2 cup Double zero flour


If you have an electric mixer at home, it will be slightly easier to mix your dough and reduce the total time on this recipe. Use the paddle attachment of the mixer and combine all of the flour in the mixing bowl. Whisk whole eggs and yolks together. Start your electric mixer on low, allowing all of the flour to become evenly combined, about 2 minutes. In increments, slowly pour your egg mixture into the mixer. Keep close eyes on the dough, stopping every now and again to feel it. The dough will likely look crumbly and dry, but if you touch it (while mixer is off!) and you can feel some moisture and the crumbles seem to easily combine after squeezing the mixture, you should start kneading the dough by hand on a wood surface for about 10 minutes. You may not end up using every drop of the egg or you may need to add small touches of water if the dough seems too dry after all the egg is used. This all depends on the size of the eggs, even humidity and temperature.

If you are making your dough by hand, combine all the flour and mix to combine. Make a well with the flour on a wooden work surface and add your eggs to the center of the well. With a fork begin mixing the eggs, breaking them up in a circular motion while gradually tossing in the flour. Once all of the egg and flour are combined begin to knead your dough in a circular counter clockwise motion. Knead for about 15 minutes.

Tightly wrap the dough ball in plastic wrap and let rest for at least 30 minutes. You can make this dough one day ahead and store in the refrigerator, just take it out of the fridge about 2 hours before extruding to allow it to come to temperature and soften.

After resting separate the dough ball into long thin logs about 7-8 inches long and about 2.5 inches wide, wrapping them in plastic immediately after being formed. Once you are ready to extrude set a tray with about 1 cup of semolina on it. Have two cups of semolina in a bowl to dust the pasta as its extruded. Use the torchio handle to spin the press open, insert the copper die, and insert one of the your buckwheat logs. Spin the handle to close and begin to extrude the dough through, intermittently dusting the pasta that's extruded with semolina. You don’t want your bigoli to stick to each other so I always begin dusting especially at the ends when its been extruded even 3 inches. Extrude the pasta to be 9-10 inches long, cut the pasta right at the copper die. Set the pasta out on the tray and cover with a clean towel. Continue extruding until the dough is finished. Portion out the bigoli, cook off what you need and freeze the other portions covered in plastic wrap for later use.

The cooking time of bigoli will vary depending on how fresh it is and how you are storing it. If you are cooking the pasta within 30 minutes of extruding, it should take 3-4 minutes to cook. If you freeze your bigoli, which I suggest doing when making a large batch, the pasta will take 4-5 minutes to cook. Everyday the pasta is frozen the cooking time gets longer. Keep that in mind when storing and label it with a date. You can alway just keep eyes on the pasta while its boiling and cook until just before al dente.

I suggest finishing the cooking of the bigoli in the sauce that you are using, especially if your sauce brothy. The semolina thats used in the dough makes bigoli an extremely absorbent pasta, it will soak in any nuances in the flavors that are present in the sauce its cooked in.

Braised Duck Ragu

Yield: Makes 4 servings
Active time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours

  • 1 pound boneless duck breast with skin, or 2 (8 ounce) Long Island (Pekin) duck breast halves with skin
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic smashed
  • 1 12 ounce red or yellow heirloom tomato, medium dice
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 pound half pound bigoli or bucatini
  • 3 tablespoons cup parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoon parmigiano reggiano, finely grated


Pat the duck dry and Score the fat side, making sure not to cut into the flesh. Season the duck with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Place the duck breast in a large heavy bottomed skillet, fat side down. Turn the flame to medium and let the fat render out until the skin is dark golden and crispy, 10 minutes. Do not preheat the pan, start in a cold pan because it allows the duck fat time to render without the skin seizing up.  Flip the breast to sear the other side, about 1-2 minutes more.  Set aside on a plate.

Add the onions and garlic clove to the skillet and sauté in the duck fat on medium low, stirring occasionally until golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the tomato paste, stirring until evenly distributed amongst the onions and cook for another 2-3 minutes, until everything looks slightly dry and the paste has darkened.  Add the white wine, scraping any charred or darkened bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.  Let the wine simmer until reduced, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the diced tomato and let any liquids reduce, about 10 minutes. Add the chicken stock. Return the duck to the skillet, cover and gently simmer for an hour and 15 minutes or until very tender and easily shredding apart.   Remove the fat from the duck and chop very fine. Shred the duck with two forks and return the meat to the cooking liquid. Allow the ragu to reduce uncovered until it is thick, about 10 minutes more.  Ragu can be made 1 day ahead and stored after being cooled.

Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons of salt. Cook the pasta until al dente, adding about a 1/2 cup of pasta water to the ragu if it seems too thick.  Toss pasta with the ragu, parsley, and parmigiano. Serve immediately.