Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Quadrucci - pasta dough leftovers


leftover pasta pieces from tortellini a la casa
1 bell pepper
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup strained tomatoes

Do you remember my afternoon of female bonding over the menial production of homemade tortellini a while ago? It turns out there was an unexpected bonus meal in the whole procedure, which I didn't want to hint at yet because I didn't know how it would turn out.

The story of the unexpected bonus meal begins the day of the laborious pasta making. I'm not sure whether it is only because of our lack of experience or if that's just what happens, but next to the pretty tortellini you saw on this blog, neatly folded from the squares cut out from sheets of dough, as you can imagine, there were a lot of less pretty, less neat looking pieces - some from the borders of the dough sheet, some from the middle - which we couldn't use as tortellini.

My original impulse had been to simply throw it out but then I remembered what I had preached about leftovers and reducing food waste. Reading your responses had made me proud of my ever so tiny contribution to making better use of the food we have, and it is with great pleasure that I am reading about an increasing awareness in that regard. So the idea came to my mind to dry the leftover pasta patches in their idiosyncratic shapes and forms, and try to make a different meal out of them.

And how wrong I had been to think that only the flawless tortellini could be pretty! The dried pasta patches (which we'll call quadrucci from now on to make it sound fancier!) looked so quaint in their jar that I left them on my shelf for weeks just to enjoy looking at them.

Of course, after a while curiosity got the better of me and I prepared my bonus meal. The quadrucci are quite straightforward to make - I didn't cook them in rolling boiling water, but just below boiling so as not to destroy the more fragile ones among them.

For the sauce, I sauteed onions, peppers, mushrooms and frozen peas (basically the leftover veggies I had that day), added a little bit of strained tomatoes and seasoned them with salt and pepper.

As it turns out, the delicate texture and flavor of the quadrucci was a real pleasure in itself, making it absolutely worthwhile keep them. They were so flavorful and special that with the tiniest hint of regret do I even recommend using a slightly less powerful sauce to accompany them. The dish was delicious but I can't help but wonder whether for example, a simple sage butter would not have displayed the quadrucci more prominently.

Life is good!


  1. I LOVE this idea for using up extra pasta dough! Sounds like a delicious meal.

  2. Yum! I love using leftovers to come up with something novel and delish! Good on you!

  3. You've created a lovely dish and a wonderful way to use leftover pasta dough. I love this type of dish. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Blessings...Mary

  4. I am right with you in terms of not wasting food. Cheers to that! Great use of leftover pasta. Happy Easter!


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