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Now reading Barbara Lynch’s Anellini alla Pecorara

Barbara Lynch’s Anellini alla Pecorara

Annellini can be cooked in a sauce for longer than other shapes and stay chewy.

The first time I went to Italy, I was twenty-one, and it was my first time outside the States. It was really my first time out of South Boston, where I grew up. I went with my friend Sarah Jenkins to her family’s house in a little town called Teverina, about an hour and a half north of Rome, and it was the best trip ever. She taught me how to make gnocchi; we’d go shopping at the market; there was a huge prosciutto in the middle of the kitchen table. I’ve loved Italy ever since.

Anellini look like little Cheerios—I actually ate them for breakfast the other day. The shape is traditionally used for vegetable sauces or brothy sauces made with thick chicken stock. It can be cooked in a sauce for longer than other shapes and stay chewy. This gives you a bigger window of time when making something like cacio e pepe, since you don’t have to worry as much about overcooking your pasta while you’re trying to get the water and cheese to behave together.

Some tips: Before you start cooking your pasta, make sure all of your ingredients are ready to go. Incorporate the pasta water and cheese in stages, so that they better coat the pasta. Some people use a mix of parmesan and pecorino, but I think pecorino melts better. Garnish it all with frico—crisp cheese wafers—for texture, and you’ve got yourself a great bowl of Cheerios.

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INGREDIENTS

Makes 4 servings
  • + kosher salt
  • + Anellini
  • 5 T + 1 t unsalted butter
  • 1 C grated pecorino
  • + Frico
  • + freshly ground black pepper

Anellini

  • 1 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 C semolina flour
  • 1 T freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 t kosher salt
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/2 C warm water, plus more as needed

Frico

  • 1 C grated pecorino

Preparation

Anellini

Anellini
  • 1 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 C semolina flour
  • 1 T freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 t kosher salt
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/2 C warm water, plus more as needed
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a hook attachment, combine the all-purpose flour, semolina, pepper, salt, and baking powder. With the motor running, drizzle in the water, letting the dough come together after each addition. If the dough is too dry, add more water 1 tablespoon at a time. Mix until the dough is smooth and firm, about 4 minutes. Let rest for about 15 minutes under a slightly damp towel.

  2. When you’re ready to roll out the dough, pull off a small palmful, keeping the rest covered until needed. Break off a pea-sized piece, roll it into a thin string, and press the ends closed, forming a Cheerio-like shape. Repeat for the remaining dough, working with small hunks at a time. Set the anellini aside.

Frico

Frico
  • 1 C grated pecorino
  1. Place a nonstick sauté pan over medium heat. Add a few mounds of cheese, and cook until the cheese melts and begins to crisp, about 3 minutes. It should be a light gold color. Flip and cook the other side until crisp, about 2–3 minutes more. Cool on paper towels. Repeat with any remaining cheese. Set the frico aside until ready to use.

Anellini alla Pecorara

INGREDIENTS
  • + kosher salt
  • + Anellini
  • 5 T + 1 t unsalted butter
  • 1 C grated pecorino
  • + Frico
  • + freshly ground black pepper
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Drop in the pasta and cook until the pieces float to the top, about 5 minutes. Drain, reserving some of the cooking water.

  2. Place a large saucepan over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon water, and gradually whisk in the butter until melted. Add the drained pasta and a few dribbles of the cooking water, and toss until combined. Add around half of the pecorino, and toss again. You want the cheese-butter mixture to coat the pasta; if it needs more liquid, use more pasta water. Add another 1/4 cup pecorino, and toss until melted.

  3. Divide the mixture into shallow bowls and garnish with the remaining pecorino. Break up the frico on top of each bowl and grind a few turns of black pepper on top. Serve immediately.