All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016
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My Farm Fresh to You delivery came today & there were mustard greens in there. I’ve never cooked with them so I Googled them for some inspiration. And did I find it!!! The mustard greens in a recipe – sure. But the revelation is the FRASCATELLI! I had never heard of frascatelli before & I was intrigued. It was the photo below (from Bon Appetit) that caught my eye. Looks like gnocchi. I read more & discovered it was a 2 ingredient pasta that required no tools or resting time. I had to try it. Immediately!
Incredibly, frascatelli is as easy to make as the instructions suggested & I am certain I will be making this stuff over & over again.
The process is to spread out 2 cups of semolina flour & splatter it with water. Then scoop it up, put it in a colander & shake it around. Tiny dumplings form & the rest of the semolina falls back to the work surface. Repeat. When all my flour was used up – I manually pressed some of the teensy bits into larger dumplings but that is not necessary. And guess what? You can cook it immediately & it is done in 30-60 SECONDS. Yes – seconds. You MUST try this. It would be a great thing to make with kids. I think they would love the process. Here are the directions from Bon Appetit:
Spread semolina flour in an even layer in an 8x8x2-inch baking dish. Fill a small bowl with 1 cup water and set next to dish. Working in 4-5 batches, gather your fingertips and thumb of 1 hand together and, working quickly, dip into bowl of water, lift hand from bowl, and splatter water over semolina. Repeat several times until surface of semolina is dotted with ragged wet patches about the size of a nickel. Let stand until water is absorbed, forming individual dumplings, about 5 seconds. Using a fish spatula or slotted spoon, turn dumplings over to coat with semolina, then transfer to a sieve. Shake gently over same baking dish to remove excess semolina; transfer dumplings to a large rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with remaining semolina and water until all of the water or all of the semolina has been used (there may be some water or semolina left over).
Working in 3-4 batches, cook dumplings in a large pot of slowly boiling salted water (if the water is boiling too rapidly, it may break up the dumplings), gently swirling water once or twice to prevent sticking, until al dente, about 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer frascatelli to another large rimmed baking sheet.
Frascatelli is like a softer cavatelli or a chewier & more dense gnocchi. Worked great with the cheese & mustard greens but a red sauce or cream sauce or anything would work with this stuff. Just amazing! I have no idea how frascatelli was not on my radar until today.
5-Ingredient Homemade Frascatelli Pasta with Mustard Greens & Parmesan Cheese (Vegetarian or Vegan)
Serves 2 very well
2 cups semolina flour
1 bunch mustard greens (or collard greens or spinach or arugula or chard) – ribs removed & chopped
2-3 TBS butter (or vegan butter or olive oil)
1-6 garlic cloves – chopped
1 cup Parmesan – vegan or otherwise (or any other cheese/vegan cheese you like blended into pasta)
OPTIONAL – Crushed red pepper, S&P
Make the frascatelli & set aside.
Prep the other ingredients.
Bring a pot of salted water to a slow boil & immerse the frascatelli. Stir so it doesn’t stick. Scoop out a cup or two of the boiling pasta water & reserve it. In 30-60 seconds – drain the frascatelli & set it aside.
Heat the butter (or vegan butter or olive oil) in a large saute pan. Add the frascatelli. Warm it through – stirring but trying not to crush or mush the dumplings. I added some crushed red pepper here – about 1 TBS.
Add the garlic & greens. Stir in a little of the reserved pasta water to wilt the greens.
Add the cheese & some more pasta water (only use as much water as you need to melt & blend the cheese). I added a bit of salt & a bunch of pepper.
Serve with extra cheese.