Casarecce pasta with sautéed leeks and tomatoes: Before beginning the work of creating our pasta, we take inspiration from memories of Italy. The colors, perfumes and the insistence of Italian people for good food.
This morning, our pasta making project was to make ‘Casarecce‘. meaning ‘homemade’. Homemade in the sense that every portion of the pasta making process is done by hand, is often no longer the case. In order to shape Casarecce (also known as ‘strozzapreti’ in parts of Italy) by hand you must first create finger-length worms of pasta. A wooden skewer is then placed on the length and rolled gently back and forth over a wooden board, to form the centre groove. Give each one a little twist and you are done – now repeat that over and over again until all the dough is used.
Today, the growing demand for these ancient pasta shapes means that the process has been mechanised. Here at The Big Dream Factory we extrude our casarecce through bronze dies which help to create a pasta that is lightly rough. This roughness helps to hold your sauce giving you the best pasta experience possible.
Casarecce has its origins in Sicily, where many recipes use simple homegrown and local ingredients. It works well with pesto and chunky style sauces.
We created this particular collection of casarecce tri-colori style pasta dough, using sun dried tomatoes, garlic, basil and other fresh herbs. We routinely test all our of pasta and on this occasion added a simple sauce of leeks and cherry tomatoes.
Ingredients: Serves 2 – 4
- 1 lb (500 grams) Tri-colori casarecce
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium leek, washed and cut into 1/4 inch discs
- 4 ounces (100 grams) cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 2 ounces (50 grams) butter
- 1 loose handful of fresh Italian parsley, roughly chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Warm the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat.
- Add the leeks and tomatoes and sautée until the vegetables have softed.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.
- Add the butter, parsley and season to taste and lower the heat to a low simmer.
- Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente.
- Scoop out the pasta and add it to the sauce.
- Stir to combine and serve with some grated Pecorino cheese.