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Roy Elam's Handmade Cavatelli in a Brown Butter Sauce

Create culinary harmony with this sweet, nutty, spicy cavatelli. Chef Roy Elam, head chef and owner of Donna Jean, shares his fresh, handmade pasta dish; sure to impress all your guests.

Recipe credit: Chef Roy Elam

Prep time: 2 hours and 15 mins (30 mins for resting the dough)

Cook time: 20 mins

 

Roast the turnips in advance following the directions below:

STEP ONE

Preheat the oven to 450° F.

STEP TWO

While the oven is heating up, wash and cut the turnips in half lengthwise.

STEP THREE

Line a baking sheet or cast iron pan with olive oil then arrange the cut turnips face down.

STEP FOUR

Place the baking sheet or cast iron into the oven and roast the turnips for 8-15 minutes or until the turnips have browned on the cut side.

Make the pomegranate molasses in advance following the directions below:

STEP ONE

In a bowl, whisk the pomegranate juice, lemon juice, and sugar together.

STEP TWO

Pour the mixture into a saucepan over medium heat.

STEP THREE

Once sugar has dissolved, reduce the heat and simmer for about an hour, or until the mixture has reduced by half.

STEP FOUR

Allow to cool then transfer to a container for storage.

Make the Dough

STEP ONE

Dissolve the sea salt into the warm water.

STEP TWO

Mound the flour on a table and use your hand to form a well in the center.

STEP THREE

Carefully pour the water into the center.

STEP FOUR

With a fork, mix the water into the flour until a paste is formed and use a bench scraper to cut the rest of the flour into the dough.

STEP FIVE

Cut the dough until a shaggy mass has formed and knead with your hands by first pushing or smearing the dough to get the moisture distributed.

STEP SIX

Begin to form the dough into a ball by kneading in a circular motion until the dough is smooth (about 5 -8 min or so).

STEP SEVEN

Test the elasticity of the dough by poking it with your fingers. If the dough springs back, it has been properly kneaded.

STEP EIGHT

Wrap the dough tightly in plastic and allow it to rest for at least 30 minutes before using. If dough has been stored in the refrigerator, allow it to come to room temp before using.

Shape the Cavatelli

STEP ONE

Using a knife, cut a small piece of dough from the ball. Re-cover the rest of the dough ball so it does not dry out.

STEP TWO

On a dry table, roll the pasta dough into thin ropes and use your bench scraper to cut 1 inch pieces of dough.

STEP THREE

Form the noodles by using 3 fingers to roll them across the table or a gnocchi board.

STEP FOUR

Once the pasta is formed, place them on a semolina-lined sheet tray. Lightly dust the pasta with four so they do not stick together.

STEP FIVE

Continue this process until the entire dough ball has been formed into cavatelli.

Prepare the Pasta

STEP ONE

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

STEP TWO

Once the water is boiling, add your pasta to the water. Make sure not to add too much of the extra four to the water or else it will cause the pot to overflow.

STEP THREE

Once the pasta has been added to the pot, cover it with a lid and bring the water to a rolling boil.

STEP FOUR

Cook the pasta for 2-3 minutes for large batches and 1-2 minutes for smaller batches.

STEP FIVE

While the pasta is boiling, preheat a frying pan to medium-high heat and add the butter.

STEP SIX

Once the butter has melted, add the sage leaves and allow them to fry in the butter as it browns. The whole process should only take about 60 seconds.

STEP SEVEN

Once the butter has browned, strain your pasta and add it to the butter sauce immediately with about 1 oz (about 2 tbsp.) of pasta water.

STEP EIGHT

Add in the turnips, tat soi, lemon juice, and sea salt.

STEP NINE

Stir the ingredients together and cook until the pasta is coated in the sauce and the tatsoi has wilted.

Assemble the Dish

STEP ONE

Remove the pan from the heat and plate the pasta.

STEP TWO

Sprinkle on the crushed Aleppo chili flakes and toasted hazelnuts.

STEP THREE

In a separate bowl, mix the pomegranate juice, sugar, and lemon juice to make a pomegranate molasses.

STEP FOUR

Drizzle the pomegranate molasses on top of the pasta and serve.