Recipe: Chef Michael Smith’s ricotta pincenelle with sausage and broccoli

Try this holiday recipe from Chef Michael Smith’s new cookbook, “FARINA.”

Farina recipe photo

Dinner is served.

Photo by “FARINA”

Table of Contents

Since its opening in 2019, local KC restaurant Farinalocated at 1901 Baltimore Ave., KCMO — has consistently drawn in new + returning customers, celebrities, and critics. The eatery’s James Beard Award-winning Chef Michael Smith’s riff on modern Italian cuisine is a must-try in our book.

Speaking of books, Smith’s new cookbook “FARINA” is crafted as a tribute to some of his favorite Farina dishes. The book is chock-full of Smith’s techniques, shopping tips, and essential recipes for stocking the modern pantry. Lucky for you, we are serving up one of those recipes right here — a ricotta pincenelle with sausage and broccoli.

Ricotta pincenelle with sausage and broccoli

Ingredients for 4:

  • 80 pieces poached pincenelle pasta (see below)
  • 8 ounces Italian sausage
  • 8 stalks of broccolini cut into one-inch chunks
  • 1 cup poultry broth
  • 3 sprigs of fresh oregano with leaves picked
  • 1⁄4 cup chopped basil
  • 1⁄2 cup pitted castelvetrano olives (rough chopped)
  • 1⁄4 cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 cup of grana padano cheese
  • 3 Calabrian chili peppers (from a jar) sliced
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil for finishing

How to prepare:

  1. Bring two quarts of water and one tablespoon of salt to a rolling boil in a large pot.
  2. Blanch broccolini for 6 minutes.
  3. Use a skimmer or slotted spoon to transfer the cooked broccolini to a colander, leaving the water in the pot.
  4. While broccolini is cooking, heat a large skillet (with sides) over high heat and brown the sausage. Smash the sausage with a fork to break into smaller crumbles.
  5. Add olives, salt, black pepper and Calabrian peppers. Stir up the pan to mix well.
  6. Add chicken broth and reduce the heat to low while pasta cooks.
  7. Add the pincenelle pasta to the boiling water to reheat, about one minute. With a strainer, transfer cooked pincenelle to the
    sausage pan.
  8. Add parsley, oregano and basil, gently stirring and folding the pasta together.
  9. Add salt, butter, and half the cheese.
  10. Continue folding and turning the pasta in the pan. The pincenelle should have a glossy sheen look with the butter and broth creating an emulsified sauce around the broccolini and sausage.
  11. Divide the finished pasta between 4 bowls.
  12. Garnish with the remaining cheese and a solid drizzle of high-quality extra virgin olive oil.

Pro tip from the chef: “If you’re short on time and unable to commit to the homemade pincenelle, substitute a dried pasta such as cavatelli or gemelli for a quicker, but still delicious, variation.”

Pincenelle pasta dough

Ingredients for 1 pound of dough (makes 100 pieces of pincenelle):

  • 1.5 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1.5 cups 00 flour
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt

How to prepare:

  1. Place ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a hook attachment. Mix on low speed until the dough comes together in sticky ball. Continue to knead the dough for about three to four minutes.
  2. Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and shape it into a flat round disc about one and a half inches thick.
  3. Dust lightly with flour and cover in plastic wrap. Let rest for twenty minutes.
  4. Cut a one-inch strip from the disc. Using the palms of both hands, push the strip back and forth, rolling it into a log about the thickness of a sharpie.
  5. Cut the log at one-inch intervals on a sharp angle. Repeat until all the dough is rolled into logs and the sections are cut.
  6. Cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap.
  7. Using a dough scraper, place a piece of cut log in front of you pointing at eleven o’clock. Press the edge of the blade firmly into the center and quickly move your hand towards one o’clock — essentially pressing down then flicking the piece of pasta away to the right. The dough piece will elongate as it’s rolled, and the blade will create a deep crease in the center for catching sauce. Repeat until all the pasta has been shaped into pincenelle.
  8. Next, transfer them to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Lift the parchment paper, and carefully dump half of them into the boiling water.
  9. Use a long spoon to lightly stir up from the bottom of the pot to loosen any pincenelle that stick — they will float when they are done.
  10. Remove the pincenelle with a long skimmer onto an oiled baking sheet. Repeat with the other half until they float.
  11. Lightly toss and roll all of the cooked pincenelle in the olive oil to coat well and let cool.

Try this wine pairing recommendation from Farina’s Wine Director, Nancy Smith:

“The wine I would pair with this pasta is Giovanni Manzone ‘Il Crutin’ Nebbiolo from Piedmont, Italy. Having visited the winery and stood in the vineyards’ damp earth, I can smell the memories in the wine...I particularly love it with the sausage and the savory herbs in Michael’s recipe. The wine is savory and truffled and has a wildness to it, making it a perfect match to the dish.”

More from KCtoday