I walked into Duikelman to buy a speculaas plate. The mold to make the Dutch windmill cookies that are known throughout the world. Now it’s always dangerous to walk into Duikelman. If you like cooking, it’s pretty close to what heaven must look like. So far it’s been utterly impossible for me to go in there and just browse around and leave the shop empty handed. I always find something I want.
I walked into Duikelman with a misshion. The mold I promised Giulia. However, I stumbled upon this little plate which lead me to a new adventure in pasta making.
The description of the plate said it was for making gnocchi or rigatoni. The plate itself is used to make the little ribs that hold the sauce extra well. For gnocchi a lot of people just use the tines of a fork, but rolling them over this plate is the other option. The plate came with the little stick, a stick you can use to roll a sheet of pasta around to make hollow pasta, or maccheroni, such as penne. Rigatoni is a hollow pasta, not unlike penne, with ribs. And that’s where the full use of this simple little thing comes in. You roll small sheets of pasta around the stick on the plate and when you press it together to close the hollow tube, the outside is ribbed and the final outcome’s name is rigatoni.
I saw the plate at Duikelman and the crazy cook inside me decided this was something I needed to try. It would be fun. And fun it was. Albeit a lot of work – taking much, much more time than fresh tagliatelle, spaghetti or capelli d’angelo – it resulted in yet another great tasting home-made pasta dish, that just looked a little different.
I decided to pair the fresh rigatoni with a very simple cheese and parsley sauce. A basic white sauce with two kinds of cheese, so fresh cracked pepper and some parsley from the garden. It was delicious.
I doubt I’ll be making rigatoni very often, or for more than two or three people, as it is a lot of work. But I will make it again and I can see it being a fun activity for a cooking club or with kids. It’s much like playing with play-dough, only tastier!
- 25 grams butter
- 25 grams plain white flour
- 250 ml milk
- A large hand full grated cheese, 2 kinds that combine nicely is even better
- fresh cracked black pepper
- fresh) parsley to taste
- Melt the butter, add the flour and mix well. Let the flour cook for a minute or two to lose it’s ‘floury’ taste.
- Add the milk while whisking vigorously until you have a smooth mixture. Once the sauce begins to thicken add cheese(s) and stir well until the cheese is fully incorporated. Just before serving mix in some fresh cracked pepper, a pinch of salt to taste (depending on the salt level of your cheese) and finely chopped fresh garlic.
- Serve warm over pasta (or anything else where you’d like a cheese sauce)
Oh, and as a side note, Laurens shot this picture of me while I was working on the pasta. This is why you need to wear aprons and might avoid wearing black clothes when your hands are filled with flour.
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