Entrees

Mafalde Florentine Style-Italy

I think it’s amazing on how many different types of pasta noodles there are. Spaghetti, lasagna, ravioli, rigatoni, fettuccine, the list is pretty endless and those are just the well-known ones. And what about the pasta noodles whose names you might not always remember but would certainly be able to describe their shape such as farfale (bow tie) and fusilli (twisted spaghetti)? But what do you do when a recipe calls for pasta noodles that you’ve never even heard of or seen on the menu at an Italian restaurant? Well, this would be the case for me with “mafalde,” which is a type of ribbon pasta noodle that is characterized by their long, fairly wide rectangular shape and curly edges. (If you’re still interested in all the pasta types there are, check out the pasta shapes dictionary by clicking here. You will be amazed. No joke!)

mafalde

I’ve mentioned before that sometimes I am burnt out (taste-wise) from red sauce. It’s “overplayed” to say the least. So, that’s why the recipe for Mafalde Florentine Style from my cookbook Lidia’s Commonsense Italian Cooking intrigued me. It featured golden raisins (boy, are they expensive especially when your supermarket only sells a ridiculously large amount) and pine nuts (I swear pine nuts are the hip thing in cooking these days), while the sauce consisted of ricotta and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. As for the mafalde, if you’re like me and aren’t planning on whipping out your pasta maker or sadly, won’t be traveling to Italy any time soon, then as the recipe notes, fettuccine will work even if it’s decidedly less cool.

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Mafalde Florentine Style

recipe via Lidia’s Commonsense Italian Cooking by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and Tanya Bastianich Manuali

Serves 6

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for the pot

1/4 cup golden raisins

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup pine nuts

One 5-ounce bag fresh spinach, chopped

1 pound mafalde or fettuccine

Pinch freshly grated nutmeg

1 1/2 cups drained fresh ricotta

1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

-Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for pasta. Soak the raisins in hot water to cover for 10 minutes, then drain.

-In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the pine nuts, and cook, stirring, until toasted, about 2 minutes. Add the spinach, and season with the salt. Once the spinach is in the skillet, start cooking the pasta.

-Let the spinach cook until wilted, about 3 or 4 minutes, then ladle in 1 cup pasta water and add the raisins and nutmeg. Simmer until the pasta is ready. Once the pasta is almost done, stir the ricotta into the sauce over low heat. Remove the pasta with tongs, and add directly to the sauce, adding a little more pasta water if the pasta seems dry. Remove the skillet from the heat, stir in the grated cheese, and serve.

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6 Comments

  • Reply
    Sara Louise
    June 13, 2014 at 11:49 am

    Mafalde is one of my favorite pasta shapes and it was really easy for me to find it in France (it was callled something like Napolini or something there). Actually, I’ve been surprised by the little number of pasta shape options that there are here in my local stores in the US as opposed to France. I would have thought it’d be the opposite

    • Reply
      Julie
      June 17, 2014 at 10:03 pm

      I am so jealous that mafalde is so readily available in France! We have a great Italian grocery store in the city’s Little Italy (old school style), I should give that a try sometime and see if they have it.

      I think pasta shape options in the U.S. just speak to the fact that (many) Americans don’t like deviating from the “norms” (spaghetti, ziti etc). All the more reason Europe rocks 🙂

  • Reply
    lela
    October 1, 2015 at 10:29 pm

    I got mafalde in Russian grocery in Brooklyn. I was surprised but they have lots of different types pastas
    lela recently posted…Ruth’s Stuffed Romano Peppers-IsraelMy Profile

    • Reply
      Julie
      October 4, 2015 at 12:51 pm

      Thanks for commenting Lela! Ethnic grocery stores are sometimes the best for the more obscure ingredients 🙂 Glad you had success!

  • Reply
    nuala zuckerman
    October 21, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    I found Mafalde here in Saratoga Springs ny at Hannaford Super Market!!

    • Reply
      Julie
      October 22, 2015 at 11:53 am

      Thanks for commenting Nuala! And I’m glad to hear you acquired some! Clearly, I need to look harder or just buy some from an online grocer! Either or 🙂

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