I had picked up a Sardinian pasta, ‘Malloreddus’, a while back, but hadn’t figured out what to do with it. Last night I decided to pull it out of the larder anyway. I still hadn’t worked out a recipe, but while looking around on line, I saw something about a traditional treatment involving a mint and pecorino cheese sauce.
I had the ingredients, and it sounded minimal and respectful of what I had assumed – correctly as it turned out – would be the rather subtle saffron flavor of the pasta.
It was lovely; a delicious macaroni and cheese.
I have two to add 2 notes to this recipe:
- The suggestion, ‘pecorino’ didn’t specify what kind of ewe’s milk cheese was to be used. It was only after slowly heating pieces of my grating pecorino in the cream and finding it never really dissolved, did I realize I should have used softer form of the cheese, but the solids didn’t affect the flavor or enjoyment of the final dish.
- I suspected the saffron element of the Malloreddus itself might not be very noticeable, I added some threads from my own stock in the spice cabinet; I could have used a little more for even better effect.
- eight ounces a local pasta, Sfoflini Malloreddus, cooked al dente, drained, mixed with a sauce which had been prepared by heating 3 or 4 ounces of a young (ideally) pecorino from Whole Foods, cut into small chunks, inside a small saucepan with about half of a cup of heavy cream until the cheese melted, and kept warm while the pasta was cooking, then, just before mixing, a generous amount of torn leaves of peppermint from Alex’s Tomato Farm at Chelsea’s ‘Down to Earth Farmers Market’ added to the pecorino cream, pasta and sauce seasoned with freshly-ground black pepper (the saltiness of the cheese makes any additional salt unnecessary)
And then, because we hadn’t yet had our fill of cheese, we had, cheese – and fruit.
- bosc pears from Terhune Orchards, and, left to right in the picture, ‘Herve Mons’ Ovalie Cendrée (Poitou-Charentes) goat cheese from Whole Foods, Consider Bardwell Farm’s ‘Danby’ cow cheese, and their (unnamed) blue goat cheese
- the wine throughout was an Italian (Sardinia) white, La Cala Vermentino di Sardegna 2014
- the music thoroughout was Handel’s ‘Deidamia’ Alan Curtis directing Il Complesso Barocco