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Lunchbreak: Monteverde Restaurant & Pastificio chef Sarah Grueneberg makes corzetti pasta with pecan pesto

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Sarah Grueneberg

Monteverde Restaurant and Pastificio
1020 W. Madison Street
Chicago
(312) 888-3041

www.monteverdechicago.com

Corzetti Pasta with Pecan Pesto

Pasta

Ingredients:
1.5 cups or 250g 5 Stagione 00 flour
1 whole egg
6 egg yolks

Directions:
Sift the flour into a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients, combining to a firm dough, not crumbly or sticky in any way. If it's too crumbly, add a little water but only a bit at a time—just enough to bring it together. Keep kneading, about 10 minutes in total, until the dough is lusciously smooth. Let rest, covered in plastic wrap, for at least 30 minutes. Using a pasta roller, roll the dough through the first 5 settings.  This means it's quite thin but not so thin that you can see your hand through the other side. Using a one-sided corzetti stamp, cut out rounds of pasta first to fit the stamp and place on corzetti and press firmly to print the design on the top.  Do several at a time and keep the rest of the sheet of dough covered so it doesn't dry out. Place finished corzetti on a clean kitchen towel. Air-dry until they are ready to cook, or cook right away.

Pecan Pesto

Ingredients:
1 cup toasted pecans, preferably Texan
2 Tbs savory, chopped
2 Tbs marjoram, chopped
1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbs chives, chopped

Directions:
using a mortar and pestle- crush the almonds with the herbs, then add the cheese, finish by drizzling the olive oil into the mortar and pestle. The pesto keeps well in an air-tight container in the fridge for several days to a week.

Bring a large pot of boiling water to boil, add 1/3 cup kosher salt. Cook the corzetti in the boiling water until al dente (about 2 minutes—taste one, it should give way gently but have a pleasant bite to it; also check that the pasta should show no signs of white/uncooked flour). Drain, setting aside some (a cup or so) of the cooking water, and then place the pasta immediately back in the pot, over very low heat and add the pecan pesto. Add a splash of the cooking water to loosen. Toss the pasta around with the pesto and pasta water for until creamy and glossy.  Continue tossing the pasta for 1 minute, adding as much cooking water as needed to loosen the sauce so that it coats the corzetti thickly but smoothly. Serve with Parmigiano Reggiano scattered on top (and if you like, a few fresh extra marjoram leaves).

Chef Note: Corzetti is a stamp typically used in Italy to create a design on the pasta. At Monteverde we worked with an artisan to create our own design and sell them at the restaurant. Corzetti stamps may also be bought online through various retailers, including Etsy. Also, pasta sheets may be used rather than making fresh pasta dough.

Saba Bourbon Soda

Ingredients:
3/4 oz whiskey bourbon
3/4 oz Acetaia San Giacomo Saba balsamic vinegar
orange/orange peel
club soda
crushed ice
rocks glass

Directions:
Pour the bourbon and saba into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Top with club soda. Then take the glass and pour into a shaker. Gently roll the ingredients together a few times back and forth. Pour contents of shaker back into the rocks glass.  Finish drink with an orange peel.