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Author Notes: Homemade semolina pasta stuffed and topped with delicious creamy Taleggio cheese. The recipe is from "Once Upon a Tuscan Table" by Sharon Oddson Gargani, a Canadian girl thrust into Tuscan life with her eccentric ManCook husband, it is a great read and has recipes to match. —GirlCook
For The Pasta
- 3/4 cup finely ground hard-grain semolina flour (like Rob's Red Mill or Antoine's Pasta Flour)
- 1 Jumbo egg
- 1 teaspoon Extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- Extra semolina flour for flouring dough-rolling surface
- On a flat surface, pour out flour in a mound, make a crater in center and place unbeaten egg, oil and salt in center of crater. Work mixture, kneading with the flats of your hands until it is smooth and elastic (I used my stand mixer with paddle attachment).
- Divide dough into four equal parts. Place on piece of dough at a time on a well-floured surface, sprinkle more flour on top, and roll very thinly (you should be able to see your skin through it). (You can use your pasta machine to roll out very thin sheets). Repeat with remainign dough. Cut dough into 3" x 5" rectangles, place them (not overlapping) on a cloth sprinkled with flour, and set aside. **Divide dough into four equal parts. Place on piece of dough at a time on a well-floured surface, sprinkle more flour on top, and roll very thinly (you should be able to see your skin through it). Repeat with remainign dough. Cut dough into 3" x 5" rectangles, place them (not overlapping) on a cloth sprinkled with flour, and set aside. **This is a very stiff, traditional semolina pasta.
For The Pillows
- 10 ounces Talleggio cheese (Brie can be substituted, but it's worth looking for creamy Talleggio, it is very sassy and flavorful!
- 1/4 cup Heavy cream
- 16 Asparagus spears
- Unsalted butter for greasing baking dishes
- 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees, put 3 quarts of water in pot and boil. Melt cheese in top of double boiler.
- Remove tough parts of asparagus spears and, in a separate pot of boiling water (not the one with the 3 quarts of water), cook until just tender.
- Butter 4 ovenproof dishes approx. 4" x 7"
- Add kosher salt to boiling water and, one at a time, blanch pasta rectangles for 30 seconds. Remove with slotted spoon and lay flat on damp cloth. Lay a pasta sheet in each buttered dish, topped by 4 asparagus spears, cut speas to fit if necessary.
- Pour half the cheese sauce in a bowl. Spoon approx. 1/4 of it over asparagus in each dish and fold pasta flaps over spears, creating little pasta pillows.
- Top each pillow with 1/4 of remaining sauce. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden-brown. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.