Matt Janke's Giving Us A Pasta Lesson

jill, matt and mike at lecosho.jpg
Photo by Leslie Kelly
Jill Buchanan, Matt Janke and Mike Easton in the space that will soon be Lecosho.
Matt Janke, formerly of Matt's in The Market, is opening a new venture on Harbor Steps with Jill Buchanan and Mike Easton. Lecosho is going to have a wide-ranging menu, with a focus on local, seasonal ingredients. Read part one and part two to learn more.

Here's Matt's recipe for handmade pasta that he says is perfect for summer. "Cavatelli are puffy little pasta pillows with ridges, not unlike the traditional shapes of a gnocchi or spaetzle. You may not have a cavatelli maker, in which case you can substitute a noodle that works for you," he instructed.

Cavatelli with Bursted Cherry Tomatoes

On your board, make a well in 250 grams "00" flour. (00 Italian flour is available at DeLaurenti.) Beat together the yolks of 5 farm eggs, plus one whole egg. Incorporate the egg by hand into the flour, and knead until completely smooth. Set aside to rest for at least an hour.

When pasta has rested, cut into strips and roll into pinkie-sized pieces. Run through your

cavatelli maker and chill.

To put the dish together, you need a large heavy-bottomed saute pan or even a cast-iron skillet,

with a lid that fits. Have on hand the chopped herbs you want -- we like basil and Italian

parsley -- and a bowl of grated pecorino cheese. If you're having me over, be sure to have a dish

of crushed red chile flakes on hand too, because I eat them on just about anything.

Have a pot of salted water on the boil, so that you can cook your pasta while you are making the

sauce. The whole thing comes together swiftly now.

Put a generous amount of good EVolive oil into the cool pan, along with 2 pints or so of stemmed tomatoes. Crank up the heat to medium-high and put on the lid. Leave it alone, with perhaps a shake or two, until you literally hear the tomatoes start to burst. Remove the lid, add in chopped fresh garlic and Italian sea salt (the Italian is crunchy, but without any heavy flavors), and mash the whole thing together with the back of a wooden spoon. Add in most of your

chopped fresh herbs and a knob of butter. Remove from the heat.

Toss the sauce together in a bowl with your cooked pasta. Check for seasoning and maybe salt it again. Set it out with some more herbs, the bowl of pecorino (and the crushed reds), a simple

green salad with your favorite vinaigrette and some bread. If it's hot outside, put a light chill

on a Nebbiolo or serve up a good, cold Arneis.

Serves 5-6.

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