For those unfamiliar, paccheri pasta is shaped like a large tube and originated in Campania, Italy. All of the dishes cooked on this day made good use of the large size and its chewy texture, as each chef brought their own recipe and cooking insight.
Chef Caroline Glover, James Beard and Colorado Best Chef nominee, kicked off the day with a seasonal recipe using ramps. She stuffed the pasta with the ramps and ricotta, and baked them in the oven, producing a delicious and hearty dish.
Even baking it the pasta holds its shape, and as Chef Rocco DiSpirito explained it is basically impossible to overcook it (he’s tried). Chef DiSpirito kept with the “hearty” theme, and showed his take on a meat sauce from Naples. As he slow-cooked the onions and meat, with no spices or tomatoes in sight, he boiled the pasta and told stories of time spent cooking in Italy. The final dish requires quite a bit of time to let the meat and onions cook down on themselves, and the large paccheri held it all together.
Chef Elizabeth Falkner on the other hand, demonstrated the quickest recipe that is perfect for when you’ve gotten home to a nearly empty fridge. The multi-award winning chef, cookbook author, and filmmaker, demonstrated her play on penne alla vodka with a twist: change out the vodka for grappa!
Inspired by the vodka sauce on a New York City pizza, she took one bite of her pasta and said “This is the kind of stuff you want to eat. I don’t care if you’re Italian, Chinese, Ukrainian, American, this is definitely the kind of food that you want to eat.”
And as Chef Facchini reminded us: “Everybody eats pasta all over the world, that’s the good thing.”
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