HERE ARE a couple of recipes using Severino pastas. First is a traditional variation on ragu that replaces the meat with tuna. Be sure to use imported tuna packed in olive oil. You'll use the oil in the cooking. In the second recipe, the baby peas, mint and green peppercorns add a brightness that just feels like spring.
Pappardelle & Tuna Ragu
8-ounce imported tuna packed in olive oil
2 cloves smashed garlic
Red pepper flakes (optional)
28-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes
Fresh basil, chopped
Fresh parsley, chopped
1 pound fresh pappardelle
Bring six quarts of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, in a 10- to-12-inch sauté pan, add olive oil from the tuna, mashed garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook until garlic just about turns brown. Add tomato, tuna, basil, parsley and salt and pepper. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Drop pappardelle into boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes, until tender. Remove from pasta water and add to sauté pan. Toss sauce and pasta together thoroughly and add more fresh parsley. Serve in pasta bowls. Serves 6.
Mafaldine with Baby Peas, Onion and Pancetta
3 ounces pancetta
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 shallots, finely chopped
14 ounces shelled baby peas
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
1 to 2 teaspoons green peppercorns
1 pound fresh mafaldine
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Chop the pancetta and set aside. Warm oil in deep skillet over medium-low heat. Increase heat to medium and add pancetta. Sauté until pancetta begins to color. Add shallots and sauté until wilted.
Stir in peas, parsley and mint, and continue to sauté. Add wine and reduce. Stir in broth and add salt to taste (about half a teaspoon). Add peppercorns. Simmer gently until the peas are cooked.
Bring four quarts of salted water to boil. Add mafaldine and let water return to a boil, then cook for 15 seconds.
Drain pasta and toss with the sauce and butter. Serve with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Serves 4-6.