Pass the buck (wheat): Yotam Ottolenghi’s pizzoccheri recipes | Food


I could eat pasta every day of the year, and there are so many varieties that I could probably eat a different kind every day too. Too often, however, I turn to the big hits – linguine, penne, spaghetti – and too often buy it rather than make it from scratch. If you’re in the same pasta boat (or bowl), I hope today’s recipes inspire you to make your own, especially because no pasta maker is required. Pasta made mostly with buckwheat flour will be a revelation for novices: it tastes nutty, tastes and tastes.


Yotam Ottolenghi’s pizzoccheri.

Pizzoccheri is a type of buckwheat tagliatelle from Northern Italy and only needs a little butter and grated cheese to bring out its chewy, nutty texture. If you want to make ahead, prepare the dough a day in advance, then put it in the fridge and roll it out just before baking.

Preparation 10 minutes
Rest 10 minutes
To cook 3 minutes
Makes 650g of pasta, for 4 people

250g buckwheat flourplus a supplement for dusting
170g flour ’00’
Fine sea salt

To serve
60 ml of olive oil, or 80g of butter
60g fontine or gruyèregrated
sweet herb leaves – parsley and/or oregano would be fine
Black pepper

Combine the two flours in a large bowl with a teaspoon of salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, then pour in 220ml of room temperature water, mix well, then knead for five minutes, until you have a smooth dough. Cover with a towel and let rest for 10 minutes.

Roll the dough into a sausage 24 cm long, then cut it into three pieces 8 cm long. Generously flour a work surface with buckwheat flour, then roll each piece of dough into a rough 30cm x 45cm rectangle about 2-3mm thick. With the long side facing you, fold over one of the rectangles twice, it now has three layers, then cut widthwise into 1cm wide ribbons. Put them on a tray, cover with a tea towel to prevent them from drying out and start again with the two remaining rectangles of dough.

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Turn the heat to medium-high, shake off the excess flour from half the pasta ribbons, then drop them into the pan and stir gently with the handle of a wooden spoon to prevent them from clumping together . Cook for two or three minutes, until al dente, then, using a large slotted spoon or a spider, lift into a large colander set over a large bowl. Bring the water back to a boil, repeat with the rest of the pasta and save two tablespoons of the pasta cooking water.

Put the oil or butter in a medium wide, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat, add all the pizzoccheri and reserved pasta water, and stir gently to coat and combine. Off the heat, sprinkle with cheese and herbs and serve garnished with plenty of freshly ground black pepper.

Pizzoccheri with burnt butter with lemon and crunchy sage

Yotam Ottolenghi's pizzoccheri with lemon burnt butter and crispy sage.
Pizzoccheri from Yotam Ottolenghi with lemon burnt butter and crunchy sage.

The abundance of butter and parmesan in this dish makes the already comforting pizzoccheri very hearty. If desired, use store-bought dried pizzoccheri or other tagliatelle-like pasta instead of making it fresh and cook according to package directions.

Preparation 25 minutes
To cook 30 minutes
Serves 4

45ml olive oil
Sage leaves
100g unsalted butter
30g pine nuts
2 cloves garlic
peeled and crushed
Fine sea salt and black pepper
650 g just cooked pizzoccheri (see above)
2 lemonsfinely grated zest, to obtain 1 tablespoon, then squeezed, to obtain 45 ml
20g grated parmesan
1½ teaspoon Aleppo pepper flakes
or 1 teaspoon regular chili flakes

Put the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat and once hot, fry the sage in three batches until translucent and crispy. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; save the oil for later.

Put the butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and cook for six to seven minutes, until it foams and starts to smell nutty. Remove from the heat, add the pine nuts and cook for a minute in the residual heat. Stir in the garlic, return the pan to medium-high heat, pour in two tablespoons of the pasta cooking water and a quarter teaspoon of salt, then add the cooked pasta, toss to coat well and remove from the heat .

Stir in lemon juice and crumble half of the crunchy sage leaves, then place in four plates or shallow bowls and top with grated Parmesan. Sprinkle the lemon zest followed by a good grind of pepper and chili flakes, drizzle with the reserved sage oil and serve with the remaining whole sage leaves scattered on top.

Pizzoccheri with miso cabbage and spicy breadcrumbs

Pizzoccheri from Yotam Ottolenghi with miso cabbage and spicy breadcrumbs.

This recipe uses only half the amount of pasta as today’s first recipe; do it and roll it exactly the same way. Soft, buttery cabbage makes this even more comforting.

Preparation 25 minutes
To cook 20 mins
Serves 2

325g of fresh pizza (i.e. half of the quantity prepared in the first recipe, therefore prepared with 125 g of buckwheat flour, 85 g of ’00’ flour, ½ teaspoon of salt and 110 ml of water at ambient temperature)

For the breadcrumbs
1½ tablespoon olive oil
30g panko breadcrumbs
1½ tsp caraway seeds
slightly crushed in a mortar
2 tsp Aleppo pepper flakes
2 teaspoons lemon zest
Salt and black pepper

For the cabbage
100ml olive oil
5 garlic cloves
peeled and crushed
2½ tablespoons white miso paste
450g savoy cabbage
(or other cabbage of your choice), trimmed and cut into 2 cm pieces
1 bunch spring onions (125g), 30g of the green part cut into thin rounds, the rest cut into 3cm lengths
2 tablespoons lemon juice

First prepare the pasta as in the first recipe. For the breadcrumbs, put the oil in a small skillet over medium heat and, once hot, add the panko and sauté for two to three minutes, until golden brown. Stir in the caraway seeds, toast for an additional minute, then remove from the heat and stir in the chilli, lemon zest and a pinch of salt. Pour into a bowl and let cool.

To make the cabbage, put the oil, garlic, and miso in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and cook, stirring often, for two or three minutes, until fragrant. Stir in the cabbage and 95g spring onion whites, and cook another six to eight minutes, until softened and smooth.

Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of well-salted water to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-high, add the pizzoccheri, stir gently with the handle of a wooden spoon to avoid lumps, and cook for two to three minutes, or until al dente and just starting to rise to the surface of the water. Using a large slotted spoon, lift the pizzoccheri and a tablespoon or two of their cooking water into the cabbage pan, and shake the pan to mix and coat the pasta in the sauce.

Remove from heat, drizzle with lemon juice, then sprinkle with one-third of the breadcrumb mixture and green onion rings. Spoon into two bowls and serve warm with the remaining breadcrumbs on the side.


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