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Ferrara-style paccheri pie #EatMatera


Pie crust is one of those preparations that you either love or hate. Personally I think you need to be prepared to taste it, but belonging to the first group I cannot help but advise you to prepare a macaroni pie at least once in your life.

After this introduction I confess that it is an interpretation (or revisitation which makes it more chic!) of a traditional Ferrara dish. The macaroni pie It has eighteenth-century origins, in reality it is a “dish” that has roots in Roman cuisine passing through to medieval cuisine, where everything that could be hidden and then revealed, through the opening of a pasta shell, was synonymous with a rich and tasty dish. The effect was particularly appreciated, as was the sweet and savory contrast.

Also Artusi he gives us a Romagna version (349), remembering that tradition involves preparing this dish “very complicated and expensive” during the Carnival period.

The differences between the original recipe and mine: the pasta that wraps the macaroni, oh paccheri in my case, it is traditionally a pastry and not a brisée which would have remained more neutral and less rich. Inside the original seasoning there are mushrooms (which I don't like) and truffles (which my wallet doesn't love) which are absent in my proposal. The spices – clove and cinnamon – are skipped by some and confirmed by others, the only time I had the chance to eat this dish in Ferrara the slice of pie was slightly scented with cinnamon so I didn't hesitate to include it.

I think it is now clear to anyone who passes by here that I like to look for roots in the kitchen, I love preparing traditional dishes, discovering new ones gives me adrenaline that not even the most sumptuous cake can achieve. For Mangiare Matera I wanted to propose at least one dish that belonged to the cuisine of Emilia Romagna, thus intertwining ingredients and history of two distant and different but “composable” regions, pass me the term…

Ferrara-style paccheri pie

  • 150 g of Vero Lucano paccheri
  • 60/80 g of Parmigiano Reggiano

For the broken one:

  • 150 g of Senatore Cappelli re-milled durum wheat semolina
  • 90 g of butter
  • 25 g sugar
  • very cold water to taste

For the béchamel:

  • 450 g of whole milk
  • 35 g of butter
  • 30 g of flour
  • noce moscata qb
  • sale q.b.

For the ragù:

  • 450g minced beef
  • 1 sausage
  • 3 cloves
  • the tip of a teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 500 g of peeled tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 1 small onion
  • carrot, celery to taste
  • dry white wine to taste
  • Salt and Pepper To Taste

First prepare the brisée. Create a fountain with the flour and insert the cold butter cut into cubes and the sugar in the center, work the butter by crumbling it between your fingers and gradually adding the flour. Add the water little by little, also very cold, until the dough begins to come together. Form a ball with the dough, wrap it in cling film and let it rest for at least a couple of hours in the fridge (I spent the whole night).

Prepare the ragù as usual, only skewer the onion with the cloves and remove it at the end of cooking. Fill a piping bag with part of the ragù. Prepare the béchamel in advance. In a saucepan, bring the milk to the boil. In a pan, melt the butter completely, add the flour and cook, stirring with a whisk, until you obtain a light and fluffy mixture. At this point add the boiling milk, salt, nutmeg and mix with the whisk until it thickens, you should obtain a rather compact béchamel sauce. Turn off and let cool.

Cook the paccheri al dente in plenty of salted water (in my case I cooked them for 10 minutes, do the taste test). Drain them and immerse them in cold water to stop cooking. Drain them again and dry them by placing them on a clean cloth. Using a piping bag, fill each pacchero with a little ragù and set aside.

Take the brisée and roll out a sheet of pastry 4/5 millimeters high with which to line a 20 cm cake tin, collect the scraps and put them back in the fridge for about ten minutes (this will make the pastry for the lid). Using a fork, pierce the bottom of the cake and also the sides.

Start forming the layers: make a first layer with a spoonful of ragù, continue with the stuffed paccheri and finish with a little of the leftover ragù and a little béchamel. Sprinkle generously with Parmesan and arrange the second layer of paccheri, finishing with ragù, béchamel and Parmesan. Close with the pastry of brisée, make a hole in the center to allow the humidity to escape. Seal the edges of the pie and bake at 180° for approximately 45 minutes. Once cooked, let it rest for 10/15 minutes before serving. (for 6 people)

PS: I have some ragù, bechamel and shortcrust pastry left over but the doses I indicated are correct, it's better to have something left over in these cases, it's a rich preparation and it would be a shame to sip the various ingredients …

With this recipe I participate in the contest organized by Eating Matera e Greedy Shots.

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