In his gorgeous In.gredienti cookbook, Massimiliano Alajmo includes a dish called "pasta butter and smoke," made with smoked pasta and smoked butter and served with smoked hen broth. In this much-simplified version, the smoky flavor is all in the butter; it's mixed with cheese and chopped fresh herbs to make a rich sauce for silky pappardelle.
Mario Batali: Perfect PastaMore Great Pastas
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons smoked butter, at room temperature (see Note), or 2 tablespoons
of unsalted butter
3/4 cup warm chicken stock
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fennel fronds (optional)
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons minced chives
Freshly ground pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Pinch of tandoori masala or curry powder
How to Make It
In a food processor, pulse the flour with 1 teaspoon of salt. With the machine on, add the eggs and process until the mixture resembles wet sand. Transfer the dough to a work surface and knead until smooth. Roll the dough into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Cut the dough into quarters. Work with one piece at a time and keep the rest wrapped in plastic. Flatten the dough slightly and run it through successively narrower settings on a hand-cranked pasta machine until you reach the last setting. Trim the ends and cut the pasta into 10-inch lengths; loosely roll them up and and cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips. Drape the pasta noodles over a drying rack. Repeat with the remaining 3 pieces of pasta dough.
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pappardelle, stirring, until al dente, about 3 minutes. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Add both butters and toss well. Add the stock and grated cheese and toss to coat. Add the fennel fronds, parsley and chives, season with salt and pepper and toss again.
Transfer the pappardelle to bowls and top with a little olive oil and a pinch of tandoori masala. Serve right away.