Is it just me, or does a gloomy rainy day just make you want to curl up on the couch and dig into a warm bowl of pasta? This week’s weather in Toronto has been making me long for the comfort of carbs, and inspired me to share a beautiful pasta recipe that I recently experienced at the preview for Gust 54 Restaurant Group‘s new LA-based venture, FELIX.
With the talented Chef Evan Funke in charge of the kitchen, Californians will soon be treated to a modern approach to authentic Italian food on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice. And Funke doesn’t joke around when it comes to pasta. The Californian Chef who worked for six years alongside Wolfgang Puck found his true calling in Bologna, Italy, where he discovered the time-honoured techniques of pasta fatta a mano, or true handmade pasta.
As such a huge fan of Gusto 54′s laid back Italian restaurant, Gusto 101, on Portland Street in Toronto (it is literally my favourite restaurant in the city and I am there very often), I was honoured to be invited to an intimate dinner in Gusto 101′s private cellar to be one of the first to experience what’s to come at FELIX when it officially opens in summer 2016.
At the dinner we were treated to everything from the most delicately fried artichokes to an impressive amount of porchetta, with pasta dishes served in between, of course. One dish that really stood out to me was the Gnocchetti with Pesto Genovese that I loved so much I asked for the recipe to share. As I said on Instagram, this dish ‘was like eating springtime and it was glorious.’
See below for how to make the Gnocchetti with Pesto Genovese recipe!
FELIX LA’s Gnocchetti with Pest Genovese Recipe by Chef Evan Funke
FOR THE PESTO:
250g fresh basil picked
60g toasted pine nuts
50g Parmigiano Reggiano
50g Pecorino Romano
10g peeled garlic
Pinch of salt
2.5 c Extra Virgin Olive Oil
250g gnocchetti pasta or desired shape
2 steel mixing bowls
Heavy bottom pot
In a high speed blender combine the pine nuts, both cheeses, garlic, salt and COR Abrequina EXVO. Blend on high until smooth and creamy. Begin adding the basil leaves in small amounts until all the basil is blended smooth. Adjust seasoning. Pour the pesto into a metal mixing bowl over ice to cool and retain colour. Once cool, leave at room temperature if using immediately or refrigerate for later use.
FOR THE PASTA:
Set a pot of salted water to boil over high heat. Add the corzetti and cook 8-12 minutes or to desired doneness. While the pasta cooks, place the mixing bowl of pesto over the pot so that the steam warms the sauce. Strain the finished pasta and reserve a small portion of water Add the pasta to the warmed pesto plus a touch of water to emulsify the sauce Grate approx. ½ cup Parmigiano Reggiano into the pasta and mix gently but thoroughly. Serve warm.
Thank you Chef Funke!
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