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Flatiron Foodies: Bread & Tulips' Creste di Gallo con Salsiccia

Creste di gallo, even in name alone, is a pasta shape with big personality. Translating to "Rooster's crest", this short pasta resembles the head of a rooster with a tall squiggle arching around its curve, and is a great pasta choice for robust sauces. Bread & Tulips shares house their house favorite for this month's Flatiron Foodies.

Chef de Cuisine Juan Morales adds broccoli rabe to traditional basil pesto, and a touch of Brooklyn Cured Italian sausage along with lemon zest and seasoned breadcrumbs to round out this bright dish that may become a staple in your kitchen.

Creste di Gallo con Salsiccia (serves 2)

  • 5 ounces Italian sausage, cut in small pieces 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 10 ounces fresh, short pasta of your choice, undercooked by about a minute
  • 1 cup of reserved pasta water
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan, or similar hard cheese
  • 2 tablespoons pangrattato (see below)
  • 4 tablespoons rapini pesto (see below)
  • Pinch of salt, to taste
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper, to taste

For pangrattato:

  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • Zest of 2 lemons (preferably organic)
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Pinch of salt

Method: Add oil and butter to a large skillet over medium heat, and toast the breadcrumbs until golden brown; pour into a bowl to cool. Once the mixture has cooled, add lemon zest, parsley, and salt, and stir loosely with a fork to combine. This will make enough for about eight pastas; save extra servings in an airtight container.

For rapini pesto:

  • 1 clove garlic, whole
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan or similar hard cheese, like grana padano
  • 1 cup blanched broccoli rabe
  • 1/4 cup basil
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Pinch of salt

Method: In a food processor, pulse together garlic and cheese until the garlic is in small pieces. Then, add the broccoli rabe, basil, olive oil, and salt, and pulse until combined. The final result should not be totally smooth and will have some texture.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the sausage. Brown the sausage for a little less than a minute, or until it is crisp to your liking. Add garlic, salt, and red pepper (the goal here is to infuse the oil with the garlic). After about a minute, add the wine. Once the alcohol has evaporated, add about a quarter cup of the reserved pasta water. Let the mixture simmer for about a minute until it has reduced slightly, and add the cooked pasta to the skillet (you can add a cube of butter at this point, but it’s fine to omit). Add pesto to the skillet and stir to coat the pasta, then reduce until the sauce is creamy. Be careful not to overcook, otherwise the pasta will be mushy. Serve in a shallow pasta bowl and top with pangrattato and Parmesan cheese. Buon appetito!

Note: For the pasta, Bread & Tulips uses homemade creste di gallo. If you prefer to use dry pasta instead of fresh, decrease the amount to two ounces of dry pasta (uncooked) per serving. Then, cook according to the package instructions, undercooking by about a minute (it will cook more in the skillet).

Pictured above: Bread & Tulips' Creste di Gallo Salsiccia

Pictured below: Chef de Cuisine Juan Morales (Photo Credit: Bread & Tulips)

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