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There are two types of people in this world: Those who like to follow the recipe, and those who don’t. Personally, I use recipes as inspiration—I browse until I find a combination of ingredients or flavors that jumps out at me, and then I cook. Sometimes it resembles the original recipe, sometimes it doesn't.
This buckwheat pasta will satisfy both kinds of cooks. If you don’t have the time or energy to make your own pasta on an average weeknight, that's okay—this recipe will still help you to cook many simple, delicious meals. You’ll just have to improvise a little bit.
The core flavors of this recipe are the charred cabbage, the aged provolone cheese, and the speck (a slightly smoked prosciutto from northern Italy)—challenge yourself to stray from the recipe, and you could use them to make a number of different dishes, like a risotto or a soup. In order to bring some depth to this dish, I add lemon for acidity, chile flakes for some heat, and caraway seeds as a nod to culinary traditions that northern Italy shares with neighboring Austria.
Want to follow the recipe more closely but don’t have the time to make fresh pasta? Substitute for store-bought. (You could even eliminate the pasta completely and serve a nice side dish of cabbage and speck with melted provolone.) Whether you follow the directions or not, these classic flavors will stay with you.
- 1 cup buckwheat flour
- 1/2 cup Italian OO flour (or substitute all-purpose flour), plus extra for rolling
- 3 whole eggs, plus 1 extra yolk
- 1/2 head savoy cabbage
- Grapeseed oil (or substitute canola or vegetable oil)
- 1 tablespoon caraway seeds, lightly crushed in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1 cup semolina flour, to be used for rolling
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon chile flakes
- 1/2 pound aged provolone
- 1/8 pound speck, cut into thin strips