Pegai (stuffed pasta) with Wild Mushrooms
For the Filling
- 1 pound Chestnut flour
- .5 cups Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- to taste Nutmeg, grated
- to taste Salt & pepper
- 1.5 cups Whole milk
- 3 cups All purpose flour
- 3 large Eggs
- as needed Water
- 2 ounces Extra virgin olive oil
- 4 pounds Wild mushrooms, cleaned and thickly sliced
- to taste Salt
- 1 sprig Rosemary
- 4 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
- 4 ounces Butter, unsalted
- to finish Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- To make the filling, mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl and slowly add in the milk. When all the milk is incorporated, let the mixture hydrate for 10 to 15 minutes, then adjust with more milk if needed. You will want the filling to achieve the texture of somewhat loose peanut butter.
- To make the pasta, put the flour in a bowl and make a well. Loosely mix the eggs in a separate bowl, then slowly add the eggs to the flour and mix with a fork. Mix until the eggs are completely incorporated with the flour. If the dough mixture will form a ball when squeezed, put the dough out on a clean work surface and knead until a smooth ball is formed.
- Put pasta dough under a towel and allow to hydrate for at least ten minutes (or as long as an hour prior to rolling out pasta). If the dough does not come together when squeezed, only add enough water achieve this result, then proceed as above. Too much water will result in a soft, mushy pasta when cooked.
- To make the pegai, roll out pasta to the thinnest level possible, then cut sheets about 12 inches in length. Starting with one of the pasta sheets, spread some of filling on the lower half of the sheet, then fold the sheet over. Cut triangular shapes through the filled sheet with a zig-zag pasta cutter. Continue this process with the rest of the pasta sheets and filling.
- To make the sauce, warm the olive oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté until the mushrooms begin to sizzle (they will throw water initially, then will dry out an sizzle). Season with salt, add the rosemary and the garlic, and toss for a few seconds. Finally, add the butter and caramelize the contents of the pan.
- To serve, cook the pasta in abundant salted water until al dente. Add a few spoonfuls of pasta cooking water to the mushrooms, drain the pegai, then toss the pasta with the mushrooms. Divide the pegai among 6 to 8 hot plates, and garnish generously with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Oliveto Cafe and Restaurant
5655 College Avenue
Oakland, CA 94618