Michele Baldacci is executive chef and owner of Locanda Vini e Olii in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. Originally from Florence, Baldacci brings the flavors and traditional techniques of Italy to the historic drug store-turned restaurant.
Maltagliati means “badly cut” in Italian, and traditionally, the term was saved for the odd scraps of pasta left over after you’ve finished cutting the ravioli and other larger, fancier shaped pastas. They tend to be fairly large, flat and oddly shaped triangles that fold back on themselves on the plate.
This is one of the pastas that we change with the seasons at Locanda Vini e Olii. In the summer, we put strips of eggplant in the pasta dough and tosse the pasta with raw cherry tomatoes, fresh ricotta, basil and olive oil. “Ceccha” is the name of a dish in which raw/cold ingredients are tossed with freshly cooked pasta.
- 2 cups peanut oil
- 1 small eggplant
- 1 pound durum flour
- 5 eggs
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 pound cherry tomatoes, different colors (red, yellow)
- 1 bunch basil
- fresh ricotta cheese
- extra virgin olive oil
- Heat peanut oil on high in a heavy pan. Slice the eggplant into very thin strips. Fry the slices in the oil until well cooked.
- Set aside on paper to absorb the extra oil. Add a pinch of salt and wait until the eggplant has cooled down.
- In a mixer add all the ingredients, including the eggplant.
- When everything is mixed well, form the dough into a ball, cover with a napkin and set it aside for half an hour.
- Once the dough is ready, run it through a pasta maker, forming long flat sheets. Cut into large triangles.
- Once the pasta has been cut, start preparing the "sauce."
- In a large mixing bowl, slice the tomatoes in half, cut the basil (you can never have too much basil), add salt and abundant extra-virgin olive oil. Stir and set aside.
- Cook the pasta in a large pot filled with lightly salted water. (Note: Fresh pasta only takes 2-3 minutes to cook, so be ready!)
- Drain the pasta very, very well, and put into the mixing bowl. Stir well and serve on flat plates. Decorate with a tablespoon of ricotta.
Note: Good quality ricotta makes the difference here. We buy the best ricotta in the city from DiPalo, 200 Grand St. in New York.
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