I am SO super excited to share this recipe with you guys! My inner Italian had a major shining star moment with this recipe. It tastes so authentic and fresh, not saying it is authentic, but it tastes like it! There is something so incredibly comforting about this recipe, it will leave you wanting more and more and more. This dish is all homemade, from the pasta to the pesto to the bolognese sauce… made with local farm fresh organic ingredients, you can literally taste the quality and love in every single bite. I honestly can’t imagine buying or enjoying store bought pasta ever again after this. There is nothing like homemade!
Let’s get started! I like to first get my pasta water going so I know it’s there for me when I need it. I use a medium to large pot and crank it to high to get a boil going. My pasta recipe is sooo easy, no pasta maker needed! Although if you have one, and wish to use it, have at it! On a clean surface, counter tops work best, put your all purpose flour down, top with semolina flour and salt. Mix it together with your fingers to combine. In the center of the flour mixture, create a deep well, mosh pit, whatever you can relate to, and crack those 2 eggs in there. Mix eggs with fingers, don’t be afraid to get dirty, we’ve got our aprons on! 😉 then slowly start bringing in flour to meet up with the egg, until combined fully. Add in 2 tbsp water (one at a time, mixing into flour before adding second tbsp of water). This will be a little wet and sticky to your fingers. Dust some flour onto counter or work surface, kneed dough for 5 full minutes, you really want to make sure to combine your ingredients well and get a nice smooth consistency. Side thought… why go to the gym when you can kneed pasta dough? I’m on to something here guys… Once you’ve completed your arm workout, and the dough is all combined into a smooth ball, let it rest off to the side in a lightly oiled bowl while you start your bolognese.
For the bolognese, I bought a sweet Italian chicken sausage from our local farm, The Chatham Berry Farm. They have really good quality meats there, so I try to get the bulk of my ingredients from them when possible! It’s good stuff, so try and find yourself a good quality chicken sausage if possible! Chicken is also leaner than pork, which is why I like using chicken sausage over your typical pork sausage. Add your sausage to 2 tbsp good quality olive oil. Cook over med-high heat until you no longer see pink, about 7 minutes.
Add in your sliced sun dried tomatoes and halved grape tomatoes. Again, all the produce you see in my recipe is organic, no pesticides… all from the wonderful Berry Farm! It just makes me so happy! Sauté until fragrant and slightly softened and tomato burst a bit, 2-3 minutes.
Add in 1 finely minced garlic clove and 1 tbsp Bulleit Bourbon to deglaze (if you have a heavy hand like I do, add a little extra for good measure, it’s good for the soul). Cook for a minute. Add in sliced swiss chard, cook until wilted. Then add in can of whole tomatoes. I use a knife and break them up a bit… I like to see big chunks still, but breaking them up with help them cook down faster and create more of a sauce.
Once tomatoes cook down a bit, 10 minutes, add in white beans. Mix to combine and turn heat down to medium-low and let sauce simmer for another 10 minutes.
While sauce is cooking, roll our your dough. THIN THIN THIN. I use a rolling pin and flour my surface with semolina flour. Now listen, this is your second set of arm exercises, so push through and crank ’em out, folks! Sorry, this is my inner therapist coming out. I don’t even know how thin to tell you guys to make your dough because it shouldn’t even be measurable. Basically you want to be able to see your hand through the dough.
Once your dough is rolled out, I sprinkle the top with more semolina, fold the dough in half, sprinkle with more semolina and fold in half again. The semolina will prevent the dough from sticking together. Folding it just makes it easier to slice. Get creative here, I sliced my dough to be able the size of linguini, but you can do thick pappardelle too which would be good! Don’t worry if your slices aren’t all the same width, this is home made and rustic, imperfections are beautiful and let your guests know its home made! Super impressive 😉
Once sliced up, lightly run your fingers through the dough, fluffing it apart to separate the noodles. Then sprinkle a little more semolina on the dough and create little “nests” of noodles and let it rest while you make your pesto.
This ramp pesto is so easy and so freaking yummy. I am just realizing now that my last recipe also had pesto in it… what can I say. I love pesto, and there is no shame in my game about it what so ever! Take out your food processor, put in all your ingredients (except oil). I like to chop up the ramps a bit to help out my food processor. Pulse until your ingredients are combined but still have texture. Slowly drizzle in oil to allow it to emulsify and blend in with your herbs. This pesto is a little extra flavorful since we are using ramps and roasted pepitas. The ramps give it a mild onion and garlic flavor and the roasted pepitas give it a toasted earthy flavor. So yummy.
Almost time to assemble! Just need to finish up the pasta. Salt your boiling water (we’re not talking 1 tsp, I mean make it snow all up in that pot! Like 1/4 cup snow storm worth… we want to make that pot taste like the ocean!) Drop in your gorgeousss nests of pasta, gently stirring it around. Cook for only a couple minutes, 3 minutes max! It’s fresh, so it doesn’t need long at all. How do you know its finished? It will float up on to the top of the boiling water. With tongs, carefully lift out of pot and place directly into bowls.
Now, we assemble. Top the pasta with a generous amount of your bolognese. Then, dollop some ramp pesto all around the pasta and bolognese (we are layering all this, not mixing it together, because we eat with our eyes first in my house). Now… here comes the grand finale… the most magical and wonderful thing since sliced bread people. BURRATA. Yes, you guys, its a foodgasm in a bite. This fresh, soft ball of mozzarella filled with creamy and silky ricotta inside. This is what dreams, it can’t be just me, are made of! Find smaller ones if you can and top each bowl with a little burrata and insert a small incision in the side so it slowly starts to ooze out and create an avalanche down your pasta. If you can’t find small burratas just do one big platter of the pasta and serve family style, layer the same exact way as you would individually, and top with a few burratas. Then top all this magical-ness with fresh basil. Voila! Enjoy you guys!! Such a show stopper!
– 1 cup all purpose flour
– 2 tbsp semolina, plus more for dusting
– 2 eggs
– 3 tbsp water
– 1/4 tsp salt
– 1 pound sweet chicken sausage
– 15 oz can white navy beans
– 28 oz can whole tomatoes (low sodium)
– 6 sun-dried tomatoes
– 7 grape tomatoes, halved
– Extra virgin olive oil
– 1 garlic clove
– 1 tbsp bulleit bourbon
– 3 stalks swiss chard
– 2 cups basil
– 3 ramps
– 1/2 cup parm
– 1 tbsp lemon
– 1 tbsp roasted pepitas
– drizzle olive oil until smooth, approx 1/4 cup
*** Top with burrata and fresh basil!
This recipes serves two, double, triple, etc. as needed for a bigger crowd!
From my happy and healthy belly to yours,