Tuscan Gemelli

Gemelli is a short pasta consisting of two smaller noodles twisted together. The word gemelli in Italian means twins, signifying the two parts. The pasta is paired with two traditional Tuscan ingredients, cannellini beans and Tuscan kale. Tuscan kale, also known as black cabbage, is a slightly more tender kale. Cannellini beans are similar to kidney beans only white.

INGREDIENTS

  • fresh gemelli pasta
  • oyster mushrooms
  • stalks tuscan kale
  • can cannellini beans
  • butter
  • olive oil
  • garlic cloves
  • teaspoon chili flakes
  • mascarpone
  • grated pecornio
  • sprigs thyme
  • lemon

KITCHEN TOOLS

  • 6 qt pot
  • large saute pan
  • chef's knife
  • large metal cooking spoon or large metal spatula
  • pasta strainer or basket
  • metal tongs or cooking spoon
  • garlic press (optional if you prefer to use knife)

PREP & COOKING INSTRUCTIONS

PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES | COOK TIME: 10 MINUTES

STEP 1: Fill 6 qt. pot 2/3 of the way with water. Heat water over high heat, bring to a rolling boil. (Save a little pasta water after you are done cooking pasta, you may need it for the sauce.) Add 2 T Kosher salt to boiling water. Water should be salty like the sea.

STEP 2: Remove stem from mushrooms. Tear into pieces. Mince garlic with chef's knife or push through garlic press. Juice lemon. Set aside. Remove beans from can and rinse.

STEP 3: Remove kale from stem and chop into 1- inch ribbons. Remove thyme leaves from stem. Set aside. "Fluff pasta" Loosen up noodles with fingers before cooking.

STEP 4: Heat butter and olive oil over medium-high heat until bubbling and fragrant. Add sliced Oyster Mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Turn heat to medium. Saute Oyster mushrooms stirring frequently until caramelized. 3-4 minutes. Add Tuscan kale and cook for 1 minute or until slightly wilted. Add minced garlic and chili flake and stir until garlic is lightly browned and chili flakes are fragrant. (Do not over brown garlic, it will get bitter.)

STEP 5: Add beans and cook for 2 minutes or until beans are warmed through. Add lemon juice,½ of the thyme. Stir to make sure lemon juice and thyme are incorporated. Turn off heat, add mascarpone and stir

STEP 6: Add pasta to boiling water and give it a quick stir to prevent the noodles from sticking. Cook pasta 2-3 minutes or until desired al dente. Strain pasta and add noodles to the sauce. Add ½ of grated pecorino. Toss or stir until all noodles are coated with sauce. If pasta appears to be dry or it needs more sauce you may add a few tablespoons of pasta water. Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to pasta dish and garnish with thyme and grated pecorino. Enjoy your pasta!

WINE PAIRING

Cinque Terre DOC is a crisp white wine grown on the hilly slopes of the Ligurian coast of the Italian Riviera.

CONVERSATION STARTERS

What is your favorite regional dish from STL?

Is there a dish you grew up eating that no one else has had before? Family specialty?