Welcome to The Hot Dish, a behind the scenes look at the making of the dishes of the moment.
[All photographs by Nick Solares]
While the baked Paccheri all'Amatriciana at Ristorante Morini resembles a heavy lasagna-like dish, executive chef Gordon Finn swears it is much lighter than it appears, and perfect for the summer in fact. "With all that tomato in there it is nice and bright and not too heavy," says the chef. "There is also not a lot of pork in there," he explains, referring to the tomato ragu that is spiked with pork belly and pancetta. "Just enough to give it a nice smoky flavor," he continues.
The pasta, which is made in-house, is composed of "00" flour, water, and whole eggs with some extra yolks added to give it more "body and bite." Finn works the pasta by hand until it has reached a "sandy consistency" before putting in through the extruder. Finn describes paccheri as bigger, longer, and thicker than rigatoni. Paccheri take a little longer to cook — five versus two to three minutes for other forms — and is more robust, making it ideal for a dish that spends some time under the broiler. Finn cooks the pasta before tossing it with the ragu, layering it into a dish, and topping it with breadcrumbs and imported mozzarella di bufala before popping it into the salamander. It emerges molten ad bubbling.
Watch Finn extrude pasta and assemble the dish: