Scott Tacinelli and Angie Rito of NYC’s Don Angie use activated charcoal powder to make an irregularly swirled sheet of pale yellow and jet black dough, which they cut into tidy rectangles and roll into a little-known but increasingly buzzy stuffed pasta shape called caramelle.
1/4 cup pickled melon, pickling liquid drained off
3 tablespoons pickling liquid
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Fresh squeezed lemon juice
Fresh basil leaves, for garnish
How to Make It
Step 1 Make the Black Pasta Dough
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment, combine durum flour, 00 flour, semolina, charcoal powder, and finely ground black sesame seeds on low speed. Gradually add in the whole eggs and yolks. The quantity of egg yolks will vary depending upon the weather. (If the air is dry, more yolks will be needed; when it’s humid out, less will be needed). Stir with dough hook for approximately 10 minutes. Wrap the dough in plastic and let rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
Step 2 Meanwhile, make the Plain Pasta Dough
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment, combine durum flour, 00 flour, and semolina on low speed. Gradually add in the whole eggs and yolks. The quantity of egg yolks will vary depending upon the weather. (If the air is dry, more yolks will be needed; when it’s humid out, less will be needed). Stir with dough hook for approximately 10 minutes. Wrap the dough in plastic and let rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
While the pasta doughs rests, make the filling. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cow’s milk ricotta, buffalo milk ricotta, and Robiola cheeses. Season with salt to taste. Keep covered in the refrigerator until ready to fill pasta.
Step 4 Make the pickled melon
In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring the water, vinegar, honey, sugar, salt, and peppercorns to a boil. Remove from heat and set saucepan in an ice bath to cool. Once cool, strain out black peppercorns and discard. In a medium bowl, pour the mixture over melon and let sit for 5 minutes.
Step 5 Shape the pasta
Keeping the plain and black doughs separate, divide each dough ball into 3 pieces and work with 1 piece at a time, keeping the rest covered. Press the dough to flatten it slightly. Using a pasta machine set at the widest setting, run the dough through successively narrower settings until you reach the thinnest one. Lay the rolled pasta sheets on a lightly floured work surface and generously dust with semolina. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Cut the rolled black pasta dough into strips. Press the strips in a random pattern on top of the sheeted plain dough. Pass the sheet of merged doughs through the pasta machine on the widest setting to flatten it, then pass the dough through the narrower settings in succession, gradually making the sheet thinner and thinner. When the thinnest setting is reached, flip the dough so the more colorful side is facing down. Cut the dough with an expandable accordion cutter or pizza wheel into 2.25” x 3.5” rectangles. Spray the pasta with a light mist of water. Carefully spoon about 2 teaspoons of the cheese filling at the bottom edge of each square. Fold the squares into candy shapes by rolling the pasta square upward and around the filling to enclose it, then pinch the edges closed. Set completed pasta shapes on a tray lined with parchment and dusted with semolina flour. Cover with plastic and store in freezer until ready to use.
Step 7 Make the brown butter sauce
In a large saucepan over moderate heat, melt ½ cup of the butter until it starts to brown. Add the shallots and allow them to fry briefly in the hot butter, continuously moving the pan. Add the melon pickling liquid, pickled melons, water and sesame oil. Bring to a boil. Once the sauce reduces briefly and bubbles get larger, add the remaining ½ cup of butter and move pan continuously to melt the butter and mount the sauce. Adjust seasoning with lemon juice and salt. Set aside.
Step 8 Assemble the pasta
Cook 12 pieces of filled pasta in boiling, salted water for one minute. Add the cooked pasta into the pan with the brown butter sauce. Bring the sauce back to a boil with pasta in it, gently moving the pan to coat the pasta with the sauce. Carefully transfer the pasta and sauce to a plate. Garnish with basil.
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