vegetarian pasta

Anellini alla Pecorara | Abruzzo Vegetarian Pasta

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ANELLINI ALLA PECORARA

Anellini alla Pecorara is so sexy it’s crazy! This traditional Abruzzese vegetarian pasta is an old time favourite and is typically cooked al dente. The vegetarian pasta sauce made up of juicy eggplant, capsicum, zucchini and tomato sauce is the perfect accompaniment. Make this for a special occasion and spoil your loved ones!

Watch Anellini alla Pecorara video recipe:

Anellini alla Pecorara | Traditional Vegetarian Pasta from Abruzzo.

INGREDIENTS FOR THE SAUCE DIVIDED INTO 2 x SAUCEPANS:

SAUCEPAN #1

800g finely chopped tomatoes
¼ onion (finely chopped)
½ carrot (finely chopped)
Celery stick (chopped into small pieces)
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

SAUCEPAN #2

1 medium size eggplant (cut into cubes)
1 capsicum (cut into cubes)
1 zucchini (cut into cubes)
¼ onion (finely chopped)
200g sheep’s ricotta (or regular cow’s milk ricotta will also work)
EVOO
Pecorino cheese

anellini alla pecorara

PASTA DOUGH:

400g semolina flour
100g plain flour
1 glass of water (you might need a little more depending on the dough)
EVOO
Pinch of salt
5L water

UTENSILS:

2 medium sized saucepans
Wooden spoon
Large pot for boiling pasta
Wooden board for kneading the pasta dough
Pasta strainer
Knife

METHOD:

STEP ONE – PREPARE THE SAUCE

1. Put a medium size saucepan on the stove at a med-high heat and add a generous amount of EVOO.
2. Once this heats up add the carrot, onion and celery and wait until the onion begins to brown.
3. In another saucepan, around the same size, heat up some more EVOO on a high heat and once it is ready, add the onion, eggplant, zucchini and capsicum, adding a spoon of table salt.
4. Leave this to cook for around 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. In the other saucepan, add the finely chopped tomatoes and a teaspoon of table salt.

anellini alla pecorara

VINCENZO’S PLATE TIP: Remember, when you have poured out all of the tomato sauce from the can, add a touch of water, swirl it around until you get rid of all the sauce which has been left on the sides. Add this to your sauce as well.

6. Stir the sauce well, and leave it to cook for between 15-20 minutes.

STEP TWO – THE PASTA!

1. Mix the semolina and plain flour together with your hands on a wooden board (or your table).
2. Create a small well in the centre and add one glass of water and a pinch of salt.
3. Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil over the top of the water.

vegetarian pasta

VINCENZO’S MAMMA’S TIP: The reason you add a drizzle of EVOO is so that the dough becomes more elastic.

4. Work your way around the inside rim of the dough swirling your fingers around and mixing the flour and water so that they begin to combine. Take your time and continue to do this all the way around, being careful that the water doesn’t escape!
5. The ingredients will begin to combine well and start to form the dough.

vegetarian pasta

6. If necessary, add a some water (just a small amount at a time) and keep kneading.
7. Once the board and your hands are free of the dough and everything has come together, it means it is ready!
8. Cut a small strip of dough and begin to roll it out, using both hands and rolling the dough back and forth, until it becomes a long strip (just like gnocchi!)

VINCENZO’S MAMMA’S TIP: Be sure to cover the dough when you leave it resting to the side, or else it will dry out.

9. Then, cut the strip into smaller pieces, twist it around your index finger, and press the ends together so they become small round shapes, or “little rings!”.
10. Add each little ring to a tray and sprinkle some extra flour on top so they don’t stick together- but just a small amount.
11. Take your time when creating the small shapes and don’t worry if they don’t all look exactly the same, just keep practicing until you are happy with the shape and make sure the ends are firmly stuck together so they don’t come apart when you cook them.

vegetarian pasta

COOKING THE ANELLINI PASTA:

1. Bring a large pot of water (at least 5L) to boil and add the pasta.
2. Stir it every couple of minutes using a wooden spoon as this pasta is served al dente and can sometimes stick together.
3. By now, the vegetables are ready so you can turn off the heat and add them to the sauce (keep this cooking on a medium heat).
4. Add the ricotta to the sauce in small chunks and stir it through, keeping 100-150g to the side for later on. Put the sauce down to a low heat.
5. The time you cook the vegetarian pasta for depends on your taste, it is a hard texture pasta and should be cooked for at least 10-12 minutes, and no longer than 15 (if you prefer it a little softer).
6. Strain the pasta and add it to the sauce where it can continue to cook for a little but longer, making it a little more delicate.
7. Remove the saucepan from the heat after a couple of minutes, grate some fresh pecorino cheese on top and mix it through.

anellini alla pecorara

HOW TO SERVE:

1. Scoop up a generous portion of your anellini alla pecorara and add it to a flat round plate.
2. Add some of the fresh ricotta to a potato masher and squeeze some strings of ricotta out, adding it to the top of the pasta dish. This will add a fresh element and beautiful colour contrast.

vegetarian pasta

Anellini alla Pecorara | Traditional Vegetarian Pasta from Abruzzo.

E ora si mangia, Vincenzo’s Plate…Enjoy!

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