Plate by Plate: The Loreto Pasta Redux

2015.May.28 Thursday · 1 comment

in Casa SaltShaker, Food & Recipes

This one has a bit of history behind it. The inspiration was from a dish we had in Iquitos, Peru, at the restaurant Al Frio y al Fuego.

Raviolis Loretanos (Loreto is the province that Iquitos is in), which were delicate, perfectly cooked half moons of pasta filled with cecina (cured pork flank), some sweet chilies, cream cheese, and cilantro. On top, a fillet of doncella (Brazilian tigerfish) and the whole thing coated in a creamy leek sauce.

The version I came up with, that has seen the light of day a couple of times with minor variations, was a single large, toasted raviolon, filled with our homemade ricotta, finely chopped sopressata, parsley, and a little peperoncino. Underneath, a fresh green bean and sweet chili puree with a little cilantro. Atop, leeks sweated down in butter, and a chorizo oil.

It was delicious, but not as refined as either the original dish, nor what I had envisioned in my head. So, a new version. And who knows, another iteration may hit the plates one day down the line, but this one was a hit.

Semolina pasta filled with an spuma of sopressata, cream cheese, and a good hit of black pepper. The “spuma” is basically all three ingredients pureed together and whipped until light – based on a traditional Emilia-Romagna dip called spuma di mortadella. The pasta, large squares, folded over and shaped into tortelli.

The sauce – our “nieve andina”, essentially an herbed veloute – make a blond roux, use it to thicken a half and half blend of good chicken stock and cream, and then puree it with parsley, cilantro, and a green rocoto chili.

Atop, slivered, blanched and shocked green beans and leeks. Rewarmed briefly in a little olive oil and butter.

Spoonfuls of chorizo oil – coarsely chop a cured chorizo (not a fresh one, though I suppose you could, this just has more flavor) and cook gently in a little neutral oil until lightly browned. Puree. A lot of people would let it sit for a day or so and than strain it to just use the flavored oil, and I’ve done that, but a) I don’t like to waste all that chorizo meat goodness, and b) why not share it with everyone right there on the dish?

Wine: ; Gascón Rosé de Sangiovese y Malbec 2015, Mendoza




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