Serves: 2 huge eaters or 4 regular people
Coffee: Pure Black on ice
As culinary coffee roasters, we spend a lot of time in restaurants. But some of the best meals in my memory are actually the ones Todd and I put together when we were struggling to start La Colombe, like farfallone, that classic flavor combination of cream, ham, leeks and cheese. (Farfallone is larger sized farfalle pasta and also Italian for “philander.” But those were different days.) Although I included details so you can try my favorite version, there really is no specific recipe—sometimes hunger makes you use what you have. But one thing is for sure: Farfallone got us through many long heavy lifting and roasting days when La Colombe was still a two man, one machine operation.
1 pound dried farfalle pasta
– The best pasta isn’t drenched with sauce, but coated with it, easier when using traditionally made pasta (sometimes labeled as “artisan”). Unlike the supermarket variety, traditionally made pasta gets its slightly nutty character from the quality of wheat used to make the flour as well as the slow drying process. Also, the shapes are constructed by using bronze dies, which creates rough, feathery surface texture with much better sauce cling.
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces diced lightly smoked ham
2 cups sliced leeks
2 teaspoons coarse salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground coarse black pepper
1 cup reserved pasta cooking water
1 cup heavy cream
3 cups frozen peas, defrosted, drained and dried
Fresh grated Parmesan
1.In a big pot of abundantly salted boiling water, cook the pasta only until al dente, according to package directions. Drain (but do not rinse), reserving 1-cup pasta cooking water.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and add diced ham, browning lightly on all sides, about 3 minutes.
3. Add the leeks, salt and pepper and stir well to combine. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the leeks have wilted but have not yet begun to color, about 5 minutes.
4. Add the reserved pasta water, cream, and peas to the pan, bringing the liquid to a simmer, and then add the cooked pasta, folding all of the ingredients together until well combined. Continue to cook and gently stir until the sauce reduces a little and coats the pasta nicely.
To serve: big bowls, lots of grated cheese