Part of every cooking vacation in Italy is dedicated to pasta, a staple throughout the country. But each region has its own particular shapes of pasta, as well as its own sauces to accompany it. For this today’s blog, we feature a recipe from our cooking vacation Sapori d’Abruzzo for a traditional dish that uses both legumes and seafood, thereby combining the traditions of farming and fishing that are so much a part of regional life in Abruzzo.
Sagnette are a pasta typical of Abruzzo and its neighboring regions. It omits eggs, since in this region egg pastas were not common (eggs being a “rich” ingredient reserved for the wealthy). It’s shape is flat and shorter than the more common tagliatelle.
Prep time: 60 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Cook method: Sauté, Simmer
Ingredients for the Pasta:
- 250g (8.8 oz) ‘00’ flour*
- 250g (8.8 oz) Spelt flour*
- 150g (5.3 oz) water
- 30g (1 oz) extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
*If you cannot find Italian-style “00” flour, you may substitute all-purpose flour. Spelt flour can be found in specialties stores or ordered online.
Ingredients for the Sauce:
- 300g (10.5 oz) chickpeas – precooked
- 200g (7 oz) shrimp – shelled and deveined
- 150g (5.3 oz) tomato – sliced
- 2 cloves garlic – finely chopped
- 5g celery (about half a stalk)– finely chopped
- 50g (1.7 oz) smoked pork cheeks* – diced small
- 1/2 tsp hot chile flakes
- 100g (3.5 oz) extra virgin olive oil
*Found in specialty stores, or substitute bacon if necessary.
1. Mix the flour, oil, water and salt to make the pasta dough. Knead until the dough is supple and smooth, then let rest, covered for 20 minutes before rolling.
2. Roll dough into sheets of 5mm thickness, cut into ‘sagnette’ of approximately 1.5cm wide by 5cm long.
3. Brown the garlic, celery, chili and smoked pork cheeks in the olive oil.
4. Add the chickpeas, tomato, and a glass of water. Allow to cook for 15 minutes.
5. Add the shrimp and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
6. Cook the sagnette separately in salted, boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain and mix with the sauce in the pan.
Abruzzo is a stunning, vibrant region, and one of Italy’s best destinations, although many Americans might not be as familiar with it. See all our cooking vacations in Abruzzo, or book our culinary vacation Sapori d’Abruzzo!
By Peg Kern
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