Lunchbreak: Cavatelli pasta with smoked tomato sauce and crab

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Executive Chef Moosah Reaume

Commons Club - at Virgin Hotels Chicago
203 N. Wabash

Cavatelli Pasta with Smoked Tomato Sauce and Crab

1 cup OO flour
3/4 cup ricotta
1 egg
1 yolk
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp olive oil
2 tsp water as needed

In a stand mixer with a hook: mix flour, water and salt on low speed for 8-10 minutes until dough looks smooth elastic. Add water if needed. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for at least 1 hour at room temperature. Cut the dough into 4 pieces. On a floured surface: roll out each piece about a 1/8 inch thick. Cut into 3/4 - 1 inch strips. Cut each strip into 1/4 - 1/2 inch pieces. You want to have square pieces from all of the pasta dough. Using the index finger, apply a gentle pressure on the dough, dragging it toward you. There should be a slight curl formed. If not buy a cavatelli pasta shaper with a wooden dowel. These are the best fastest way to produce them. On a dusted tray: place shaped cavatelli pasta on without sticking to each other. Allow to air dry for at least 30 minutes.

In a pot of boiling water; add salt. Should almost taste like the ocean. (Try to shake off as much as the flour as possible before boiling them). Place pasta in pot and wait until it floats about 3 minutes. Taste to make sure they are cooked to your liking. It really should have a nice bite in the middle. If it’s too mushy you overcooked it.

Smoked Tomato Sauce:
3 Tbs olive oil
2 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped white onion
1 small shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp crush red pepper
2 Tbs smoked paprika
1 tsp liquid smoke
8 roma tomatoes, chopped
4 sprigs basil leaves, hand torn
1 Tbs sherry vinegar
Kosher salt, to taste

In a sauce pot, place olive oil and heat to a low heat. Add shallots, garlic, onions and cook for 20 minutes until translucent and resembles a paste like texture. Add dry spices and then tomatoes. Cook for 45 minutes on medium low heat slow simmer until tomatoes look a little thick and chunky. Add liquid smoke, vinegar, basil, and salt to taste.

To Finish and Plate:

6 oz cavatelli portion cooked pasta
2 oz smoked tomato sauce
1/2 oz olive oil
3 oz cooked crab meat of choice (king crab, or jumbo lump blue crab)
1 Tbs butter
to taste kosher salt

To plate:
Warm pasta and with some of the pasta water and bring to a simmer. Then add the smoked tomato sauce and sauté on medium heat with olive oil. Making sure to coat the pasta very well. In a separate pan heat the crab with the butter until it’s warm. Do not overcook the crab. Then plate the pasta and top with crab. To finish add grated Parmesan cheese, red pepper chili flakes and torn fresh basil. The drizzle a little olive oil over the top. Serve and ready to eat.