At Centrolina, a restaurant-market hybrid in Washington, D.C., "authentic, regional Italian cooking and seasonal availability is the inspiration for chef Amy Brandwein's menu" per the restaurant's website. The menu includes items like roasted morel mushrooms with a chicken and black truffle mousse and fava beans; Maine lobster linguine with tomato, basil and extra-virgin olive oil; and young Amish chicken with braised beet greens, crostini and pan drippings.
One dish, perfect for spring, is Brandwein's reginette tossed in a Parmesan-butter sauce and served with peas, carrots and beets. Reginette (also known as mafaldine), is "typically a ribbon-shaped pasta, usually about 1 centimeter (½ inch) in width, with wavy edges on both sides," according to Brandwein. "Reginette pasta was named in honor of Princess Mafalda of Savoy—thus the alternative name 'little queens,'" she continues. In this instance, Brandwein modified it to be stuffed with a mixture of burrata and ricotta. Her inspiration was "to create a beautiful, regal-looking stuffed pasta that would melt in your mouth and celebrate spring vegetables!"
Reginette with Peas, Carrots and BeetsRecipe courtesy of Amy Brandwein, Centrolina, Washington, D.C.
Yield: 4 servings
For the Pasta Dough:
1 pound "00" pasta flour
4 whole eggs
1 to 2 egg yolks
For the Filling:
6 ounces ricotta cheese, drained very well
6 ounces burrata cheese, drained very well and chopped
2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
1 egg yolk
2 swipes whole nutmeg on a microplane
Salt and pepper, to taste
For Finishing and Plating:
Egg wash, for sealing pasta
Salt, to taste
12 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/4 cup peas, cooked in salted water and drained
4 baby carrots, roasted and cut into slivers
2 beets, roasted at 400˚F for 1 hour 30 minutes and thinly sliced on a mandoline
Pea shoots, for serving
1. Make the Pasta Dough: Put the flour on the counter and form a puddle; add the eggs and egg yolks to the center and start mixing with a fork. As the dough starts to come together, knead with your hands until you form an elastic and beautiful ball. Cover with a cloth and let it rest at room temperature for 2 hours.
2. Roll the pasta very thin via a pasta machine and cut into rounds approximately 4 inches in diameter. (You will need at least 32 total.) Cover with damp cloth.
3. Make the Filling: Combine the cheeses, egg yolk and nutmeg, and season with salt and pepper. Place in a pastry bag and cut a 1/4-inch opening.
4. Make the Reginette: Brush 16 pasta circles with some egg wash around the edges and pipe 2 tablespoons of the filling in the center. Cover each with a second pasta circle and seal, pressing dough smoothly to eliminate any air bubbles. Crimp the edges of the pasta while turning, similar to a pie shell, to make the crown shape. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and place in the refrigerator until ready to cook.
5. Cook the reginette for 3 to 4 minutes in salted boiling water and then drain. Toss the cooked pasta with the melted butter, Parmigiano-Reggiano and peas.
6. Place 4 reginette on each plate along with some of the butter and pea sauce. Garnish each with 4 slivers of carrots and 2 slices of shaved beets. Finish with some pea shoots.
Photo courtesy of Centrolina.