Nutty taleggio casoncelli with truffle carpaccio
First things first: this shape of pasta is not a classical casoncelli but since I just can't find out what they are really called I settled on this name for the moment. Real casoncelli are rolled around the filling while these beauties start out as pansotti that get folded over themselves. With pasta there's always so many options and different names but who knows, maybe these really have no name yet and we'll all have to get together and brainstorm a new name. Rather than focus on the name of the pasta, I knew exactly what shape I wanted to this dish. I had in mind a soft, melted filling of taleggio cheese, but also generous amounts of unfilled pasta to be coated in the creamy sauce, complemented by the wonderful crunch and flavour of black truffle carpaccio.
All you need to feed four pasta lovers
Ingredients for the pasta dough and filling
400g 00 flour
50g semolina flour
180g taleggio cheese
50g heavy cream
Ingredients for the sauce
2-3 tbsp butter
150g heavy cream
25g grated parmesan
Truffle carpaccio (I use the one by D'Urbani)
Let's get cooking
To make the casoncelli
Place the flour and semolina flour in a large bowl, making an indentation in the middle with your fist. Pour the eggs into the well and scramble it with a whisk or fork so that it starts picking up some dry ingredients from the outside edges. Once you feel more resistance to your whisking, start incorporating dry ingredients into the egg by heaping a bit of flour mixture over the eggs and pressing down several times with your fingertips. Once most of the flour mixture is incorporated, turn everything over onto a wooden working top and knead for 10 to 15 minutes until you have a smooth and elastic dough. Wrap the pasta dough in a slightly moistened kitchen towel and let it rest for a few minutes (perfect time to make the filling, see instructions below), then start rolling out long pasta sheets with your pasta machine.
Cut your pasta sheet into large squares, roughly the size of your palm (the more even you cut your squares, the more elegant the casoncelli will look, but you can always correct a bit later on). Pipe a small dollop of filling in the middle of each square. For this shape, much less filling is needed than for other filled pasta shapes, as we want to retain some unfilled dough as well. Fold the pasta square diagonally, gently press out any air from around the filling and seal the edges. You now have a triangular pansotti.
Place the pansotti on the working top with the longest egde facing you and the tip facing outward. Roll the pansotti into a casoncelli, folding the filled part over itself once, leaving the tip of the triangle to look out. Now press firmly alongside the filling to seal the pasta shape.
When you have used up all the pasta dough, boil the pasta in salted water for 3 minutes or longer - depending on how thick your pasta sheet was. It’s always a good idea to take a casoncelli out and test whether there’s still a white line and a bite to the dough, in which case you can give the pasta another minute. Reserve some starchy pasta water for the sauce.
To make the filling
It could not be much easier! Place the walnuts into a food processor, pulsing a few times until they are finely ground. Now add the taleggio, cut into small pieces, along with the heavy cream, a pinch of salt and a generous grinding of black pepper. Blitz the food processor a few more times until you have a homogenous filling.
To make the sauce
While your pasta is boiling, melt the butter in a large skillet. When it starts to brown and bubble, pour in the heavy cream, letting the sauce bubble and thicken just a bit. Then turn down the heat and sprinkle over the grated parmesan and stir it in so that it starts melting. Now you stir in the oil of the truffle carpaccio to add that earthy flavor to the sauce. Add a splash of starchy, salty pasta water, following by the boiled casoncelli, stirring them gently in the sauce. You can always add a bit more pasta water to loosen up the sauce. Depending on how salty your pasta water is, add some extra salt to the sauce, as well as a good grind of black pepper.
Assembling your dish
Separate the casoncelli between 4 plates. Spoon over a bit more sauce. Then top the dish with truffle carpaccio and serve it with an extra grinding of black pepper and optional grated parmesan.