Umbricelli with Ginger-Chile Sauce

There’s no denying, this pasta takes time; with three people it took close to an hour to roll out an entire batch. But if you’ve got a lot of hands you want to keep busy, it’s a perfect dish. The rolling becomes relaxing as conversation blossoms around the table, turning out thick and chewy strands that get bathed in a simple, spicy sauce. If you’re in a hurry, make the sauce from scratch and sub dried noodles for the homemade ones.

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup water
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 egg

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon chile flakes
2 cups crushed organic tomatoes
salt and pepper

Pulse together umbricelli ingredients in a food processor until the dough comes together into a rough ball. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 6-8 minutes, until smooth with a slight sheen. Form the dough into a ball, wrap with plastic wrap and let rest for half an hour. Lay a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with flour. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.

Roll the dough into a flat disc a half inch thick, then slice into strings a quarter of an inch wide. Cut each string into 1 inch long pieces. One at a time, lay a piece of dough on a (non-floured) wooden board and, moving from your fingertips to your palms and back from the inside to the ends, roll and stretch the dough until it resembles a 10-inch long piece of thick spaghetti. Place on the cookie sheet, toss with flour and repeat with the next piece of dough. Continue to fluff pasta with flour in between batches to prevent the strands from sticking together.

To make the sauce. Heat the olive oil over medium high heat and cook garlic, ginger and chiles for 5 minutes, until garlic is tender and fragrant. Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper, bring to a simmer and cook uncovered for 15 minutes.

When all the pasta is rolled, cook it for 4-5 minutes in rapidly boiling water, until just tender to the bite. Toss with sauce.

Serves 6

Harvest Pasta

There are so many things I love about this pasta. For one, it’s packed with loads of my favorite vegetables. For another, its incredible flavor is the perfect illustration of just how delicious healthy can be. But it also, to me, captures the essence of the change of season: summer’s bounty exuding a homey scent as it roasts in the oven, a portent of the many braises to come. What can I say? This dish truly nourishes me body and soul.


4 cups eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 cups sweet frying peppers (like Cubanelle), sliced into thick rings
4 cups tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
3/4 pound dried whole grain pasta (your choice of shape, I especially like fusilli or penne with this)
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/2 cup basil, torn

Preheat oven to 400.

Toss eggplant, onions, garlic, peppers and tomatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl and spread in a large, heavy roasting pan. Roast for 45 minutes to an hour, turning occasionally, until ingredients are slightly caramelized and melded together into a chunky sauce.

Cook pasta in a large pot of salted water while vegetables are roasting. Strain pasta and return to pot, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid.

When vegetables are done, scrape them into the bowl with the pasta and toss. Pour the reserved pasta water into the roasting pan to deglaze and add the vinegar. Pour over pasta and toss again.

Top with cheese and basil and serve.

Serves 8