Thursday, June 07, 2007

Presto Pasta Night #15

For this weeks Presto Pasta Night, hosted by recent Blog of Note Ruth from Once Upon a Feast I thought I'd take a look at another unusual pasta.

le Cortecce

I suppose it looks a little like the inside of a pea pod or possibly an olive leaf, I'm not quite sure what it's meant to be but it's called Le Cortecce.

It's quite a thick pasta so it can take something a little more substantial and those indentations coupled with the rough underside means sauce will cling to it.

I'll be using chicken thigh meat, sautéed quickly so the exterior browns while the interior remains moist. I prefer to use thigh meat because it has so much more flavour and excellent texture. For a little piquancy I've added grilled artichokes hearts that I've cut into eighths and for a something a little different, beetroot (beet) leaves. The sauce is simply made from diced fontina that I throw in at the last minute, coupled with a spoon of the pasta water - the fontina melts and forms a creamy sauce. Naturally, you could use cream if you prefer.


Cortecce with Chicken, Artichoke and Beet Leaves

skinless chicken thigh, excess fat removed, sliced finely
leek, quartered and diced
beetroot (beet) leaves, shredded
grilled artichoke hearts, sliced into 8ths
fontina, cut into small cubes
salt and freshly ground pepper

I've kept the recipe fairly general as the proportions used is really up to your own taste.

For the grilled Artichoke Hearts - I just used whole artichoke hearts preserved in oil and cooked them on a grill pan until just charred and warmed. I then sliced them in half and then sliced each half into quarters.

For the chicken thighs - use the size of the pasta as a guide to slicing the chicken, you don't want the chicken pieces to be larger than the cortecce. Season the chicken slices with freshly ground salt and pepper before cooking.

Heat a little oil with a knob of butter in a frypan, when the butter has melted and is sizzling, add the chicken in batches. Cook quickly, you just want the chicken to brown but not to cook through. Remove as soon as it's done and repeat with the rest of the chicken.

In the same pan, turn down the heat and then add the leek, cook it slowly as you want it to wilt and soften but not colour too quickly.

Add the shredded beetroot leaves and keep turning and tossing the mixture, as soon as the leaves have started to wilt return the chicken to the pan along with the artichoke pieces.

Toss in some fontina cubes and a little pasta water, stir it through. The fontina should start to melt fairly quickly and form a sauce with the water. As soon as this happens add the cooked pasta to the pan, toss it well and then serve immediately.

If you don't want to use fontina, you can just add some cream to the pan and let it reduce a little before adding the cooked pasta. I would then stir through some freshly grated parmesan.

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  1. Wow! How so yummy!! Thanks much...I wonder if I will get that type of pasta in New Jersey...

  2. AnonymousJune 08, 2007

    What beautiful, beautiful pasta Haalo. I've never seen that type before . . . and I live in the Italian part of Sydney!

  3. It does look divine! Thanks so much for sharing with PResto Pasta Nights. I can't decide which photo to use ;-)

    Check back later for the roundup.

  4. I've never seen those pasta before. Interesting... This dish looks really delicious. Yummy!

  5. AnonymousJune 08, 2007

    that looks delicious! i've never seen pasta like this, is really does look like pea pods, how neat.

  6. Thanks Chandrika - this was an Italian import so you might have to try italian deli's

    Thanks Kathryn - there seems to be more types of artisan pasta's coming in at the moment, it's probably just a matter of time before you start seeing it.

    Thanks Ruth!

    Thanks Rosa!

    Thanks Aria - it's a lovely shape and also has a wonderful texture.

  7. What an interesting pasta!! This looks fabulous. I really need to start using chicken thighs....

  8. What a wonderful an unusual pasta.
    Your dish looks fantastic, my mouth is watering!

  9. Haalo, that looks beautiful. I was never sure what to do with cortecce, so thanks for this recipe.

  10. Thanks Nora - I think cortecce can handly quite big flavours - perhaps try a duck ragu.

  11. I have never seen this pasta shape, Haalo - I love it!

  12. Thanks Patricia - it's a new one for me too.


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