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4 Light Pasta Dishes For Spring

We survived the long winter thanks to a steady diet of mac and cheese and chicken potpie. It was a glorious time. But, it was also incredibly difficult to do much of anything but binge-watch our favorite shows. Now, spring is here, and we're ready for something a little lighter, but still super flavorful and filling (read: not anothersalad). So, we tapped four of New York’s best chefs to set us up with some light and delicious dishes that still include our favorite ingredient: carbs. Ahead, four fresh pasta recipes that won't put you into a food coma.
TDT_Vegetable-Udon_BattmanPhoto: Courtesy of Battman/Tao Downtown.
Vegetable Udon
Recipe courtesy of Ralph Scamardella, chef and partner at Tao Downtown.
For the Mushroom Stock
2 1/2 lbs dried shitake mushrooms
8 cups water
For the Sichuan Oil
2 cups Sichuan peppercorns
8 cups grapeseed oil
2 cups sesame oil
1/2 cup ginger root, sliced
1 1/2 cups scallion (white part only), sliced
1/2 cup fermented black beans
For the Stir Fry Base Sauce
8 cups mushroom stock (see recipe below)
3 1/4 cups granulated sugar
4 cups vegetarian oyster sauce
1 cup ground bean sauce
2 cups light soy sauce
1/2 cup Shaoxing wine
4 cups Mi Chiu
1 cup Sichuan oil
1 1/4 cups Sambal
1 cup ginger, smashed
1/2 cup scallions (white part only), mashed
For the Vegetables and Udon
1/4 cup baby corn
1/4 cup Shanghai bok choy, split
1/4 cup asparagus pieces
1/4 cup baby zucchini
1/4 cup red pepper, diced
1/4 cup green pepper, diced
1/4 cup yellow pepper, diced
1/4 cup snow peas
1/4 cup red onion, sliced
1/4 cup shitake mushroom, sliced
2 cups Udon noodles
Bean sprouts, to taste
Mushroom Stock
Soak the dried shitake mushrooms overnight.
Sichuan Oil
1. Toast peppercorn seeds in both oils.
2. Add all other ingredients.
3. Allow to sit overnight, then strain through cheese cloth.
Stir Fry Base Sauce
Bring all ingredients to a boil. Set aside and cool.
Vegetable Udon
1. Heat water in wok. Add one teaspoon of salt and one teaspoon of sugar.
2. Add vegetables and boil for two minutes until tender.
3. Drop noodles in boiling water and drain vegetables.
4. Drain wok, add vegetables, noodles, six ounces of stir fry base sauce, one teaspoon of wok soy. Heat through.
5. Drizzle with Sichuan oil.
6. Thicken with slurry and finish with two ounces of bean sprouts.
7. Garnish with additional bean sprouts and crispy shallots.
8. May be steamed and served with tofu.
Agnolotti With Lemon Ricotta Shrimp And Salsa Verde Pesto
Recipe courtesy of Ben Lee, chef at A Voce Madison.
For the Agnolotti
2 lbs flour
1 cup canola oil
A touch of water
For the Lemon Ricotta
4 1/2 lbs ricotta
The zest of 4 lemons
2 cups Parmesan
1 egg
For the Salsa Verde Pesto
1 pint fresh parsley
1 quart fresh basil
1/2 pint fresh tarragon
1 pint fresh mint
1 quart spinach
1 clove of garlic
2 anchovy filets
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Additional Ingredients
14 agnolotti (see recipe below)
3 oz shrimp
1/2 oz pine nuts
1/2 oz pansito
1 tbsp butter
2 1/2 tbsp salsa verde pesto (see recipe below)
1/2 tbsp grated Parmesan
With a mixer, combine the flour, oil, and water slowly together with hook attachment until incorporated. Continue to mix until ball forms. Roll the dough into strips approximately two-inches wide and two-inches long.
Lemon Ricotta
Mix all ingredients together. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Salsa Verde Pesto
Blanch all herbs and spinach and shock in ice water. Squeeze remaining water out of herbs. Mince garlic and puree all ingredients in a food processor with extra virgin olive oil. If necessary, add a touch of water.
1. Bring a pot of salted water to boil.
2. Take one square of pasta dough and place one tablespoon of the ricotta mixture. Take another square of pasta dough and press down to seal agnolotti.
3. Repeat with remaining pasta dough squares.
4. Cook agnolotti until 90% done.
5. In a sauté pan, combine butter and pasta water.
6. Add cooked pasta.
7. Once combined, add shrimp and cook until just pink.
8. Finish with chopped parsley and Parmesan.
9. Plate agnolotti and shrimp on top of pesto, and garnish with breadcrumbs, pine nuts, and Parmesan.
Beet Tortelli With Goat Yogurt And Coconut
Recipe courtesy of Jesse Schenker, chef at The Gander.
For the Beet Filling
1 lb red beets
The zest of 2 lemons
10 oz cow's milk ricotta
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
2 eggs
1/4 cup coconut flakes
2 tbsp Parmesan
1/2 tbsp tarragon, minced
For the Tortelli
14 egg yolks
1 cup semolina flour
1 cup semolina, ground
1/2 tbsp salt
3/4 cup olive oil
For the Goat Yogurt
7/8 cup goat yogurt
Beet Filling
1. Roast beets with garlic, olive oil, and thyme.
2. After roasting, remove the skins.
3. Grind beets in a food processor.
4. Place in a bowl and add remaining ingredients. Mix to combine.
1. Mix dry ingredients in an electric mixer with hook attachment.
2. Slowly add egg yolks and olive oil until incorporated.
3. Mix for six minutes until a smooth ball forms.
4. Using a pasta machine, roll out the dough into strips at least three-inches wide.
5. Cut dough into circles using a cookie cutter or glass rim.
6. Make an egg wash by whisking an egg.
7. Taking one round at a time, spread the egg wash over the dough with a pastry brush.
8. Scoop one tablespoon of the beet filling over the round.
9. Place another round on top and press down, removing as much air as possible, "sealing" the dough.
10. Repeat with remaining rounds.
Goat Yogurt
Combine the goat yogurt with enough cream to make a creamy sauce to your desired consistency.
1. Bring a pot of heavily salted water to boil.
2. Add the beet ravioli and cook until al dente. Strain.
3. While the ravioli is cooking, sauté the beet greens.
4. Spoon five to seven ravioli in the middle of a serving bowl.
5. Add the sautéed beet greens, and spoon the goat yogurt sauce over.
6. Garnish with baby beet medallions and toasted coconut flakes.
Beetroot Cavatelli
Recipe courtesy of Filippo Gozzoli, chef at A Voce Columbus.
For the Beets
6 jumbo beets
The zest of 1 orange
10 sprigs thyme
1 head garlic
1 cup olive oil
1 cup water
1/2 tbsp fennel fronds, chopped
Additional Ingredients
1 1/2 lb fresh cavatelli (can be substituted with beetroot pasta)
1 cup butter
Pecorino, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup pistachios, chopped
1/2 cup smoked ricotta salata
Red wine vinegar, to taste
40 (approximate) whole fennel fronds
Roast beets in a pan with orange zest, garlic, olive oil, water, thyme, and salt until just cooked. Puree half of the beets in a food processor. Large dice remaining half.
1. Cook the cavatelli in boiling water for three to four minutes, until al dente. Reserve pasta water.
2. Combine pasta water and a half-cup butter.
3. Add the diced beets and pasta.
4. Add butter to taste, Pecorino, and a splash of red wine vinegar.
5. Add olive oil, half of the fennel fronds, and the beetroot puree.
6. Garnish with grated smoked ricotta, pistachios, olive oil, and fennel fronds.

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