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Filled Pastas

Kārlis Dambrāns/flickr

If you really want to have some fun in your kitchen, buy a pasta making machine.  They start at about $30, so it's something of an affordable luxury.  Now the thing is you have to decide what to do with all this hand made pasta.  Chef Jerry Pellegrino says, we could tell people to "stuff it"!  Here are some of his thoughts.

                                                            Filled Pastas

Pasta, one of the most satisfying foods in the world, is rarely made at home fresh anymore.  We typically buy the dried version in the store, which is a good substitute, but certainly different from its fresh counterpart. 

Pasta Sizes – from thinnest to widest:


Capellini (Angel Hair)





Filled Pastas




Basic Pasta Recipe


1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 cups AP flour (you can use 1 cup semolina flour to 2 cups AP flour)

4 eggs

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Add the eggs and olive oil and mix until the dough has been formed.

Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead for approximately 5 minutes. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and allow to rest for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough and cut it according to the pasta maker’s directions.

For herb-scented pasta: purée 3 tablespoons of your favorite fresh herbs with the olive oil.

For Porcini Mushroom flavored pasta: remove three tablespoons of floor and add

3 tablespoons of porcini powder.

Fresh Tomato Cream Sauce


8 ripe tomatoes, seeded, peeled and puréed in a food processor

10 cloves of garlic sliced

1 small yellow onion chopped

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 lemon zested and juiced

½ cup dry white wine

½ cup heavy cream

3 tablespoons fresh basil chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

“Hang” the tomatoes in a china cap set over a stock pot in the refrigerator for at least two hours or up to over night.

In a large sauté pan set over medium high, heat the oil until just smoking.

Add the onions and garlic and cook with constant stirring until the onions become translucent, about 5 minutes

Add the lemon juice, zest and white wine and reduce the liquid until only about two tablespoons are left.

Add the tomatoes and heavy cream and cook just until heated.

Add the basil. Season with salt and pepper and serve over warm pasta immediately.

For the Goat Cheese & Spinach Ravioli Filling


2 cups fresh goat cheese

1 cup grated parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons fresh basil finely chopped

1 cup fresh spinach finely chopped

Black pepper

In a large bowl, cream the goat cheese with the back of a large spoon.

Stir in the chives and black pepper.

For Zucchini Ravioli Filling


1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

1 zucchini, coarsely shredded

2 garlic cloves minced

15 oz. ricotta cheese

Grated zest of 1 lemon

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl

Spinach Pesto


2 cups baby spinach

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

6 cloves garlic

½ cup pistachios

1 cup parmesan cheese

Salt & pepper

In a small sauce pan set over low heat*, cook the whole garlic cloves in the olive oil until aromatic and soft, approximately 15 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature.

In a blender, add the spinach, pistachios olive oil and garlic cloves. Turn on the blender. Add additional olive oil if the pesto is too thick. Pour into a mixing bowl and whisk in the cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

*Extra Virgin Olive Oil starts to lose its aromatics at temperatures above 140°F. We’ve found that poaching the garlic in the olive at 160°F allows the garlic to cook and the olive oil to retain most of its beautiful aromas and taste. We use a digital induction burner to hold the temperature ay 160°F for one hour and the results are amazing! You can use a candy thermometer to try and adjust the heat on the burner to stay around 160°F.

Al Spoler, well known to WYPR listeners as the wine-loving co-host of "Cellar Notes" has had a long-standing parallel interest in cooking as well. Al has said, the moment he started getting serious about Sunday night dinners was the same moment he started getting serious about wine. Over the years, he has benefited greatly from being a member of the Cork and Fork Society of Baltimore, a gentlemen's dining club that serves black tie meals cooked by the members themselves who are some of Baltimore's most accomplished amateur cooks.
Executive Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Corks restaurant is fascinated by food and wine, and the way they work in harmony on the palate. His understanding of the two goes all the way to the molecular level, drawing on his advanced education in molecular biology. His cuisine is simple and surprising, pairing unexpected ingredients together to work with Corks' extensive wine offerings.