Malfade aka “Badly Made” Pasta

malfade finished

By now I hope you’re starting to figure out that I rarely make an isolated “dish” or “recipe”. Nearly everything I make starts out with something I already made before.  I hesitate to call it a leftover.   I have a very wide definition of mise en place.   It’s all just fodder.  As an example I give you Malfade, that started out as Mandilli di Sea or Handkerchief Pasta.  Handkerchief Pasta is basically just small lasagne sheets.  If you’re a detail oriented cook (not me), then perhaps you’ve taken the sheets you didn’t use and carefully wrapped them up and refrigerated them.  I didn’t do that.  I left them on the bedsheet.  You can see in the photos below, the pretty fresh pasta drying on a bedsheet and the not so pretty or “badly made” pasta that curled up, broke etc.  The malfade are wonderful for a quick dinner sauced with pretty much anything, but I particularly like to pair them with my version of Marcella Hazan’s  famous Tomato Sauce with Butter.

It’s April in Los Angeles and that means that Wong Farms hydroponically grown Shady Lady variety tomatoes show up at the Hollywood and Santa Monica Farmers Mkts.  They had some softies for $1/lb which was a good thing since I spent all my money buying baked goods at the Bakers Will Bake fundraiser.  Let’s just stop for a moment to marvel at tasty, good textured tomatoes in April.  The sweetness of the onion and buttery well, butter infuses the tomatoes with supercharged flavor and texture.  If I were a more careful cook I would peel the tomatoes before chopping, but I’m not and I didn’t.  If you are, then do.

Make the tomato sauce below.  Cook the pasta.  Toss the two together and garnish with grated Parmigiano Reggiano.

Print Recipe
Rich Sweet Tomato Sauce
Tomato Sauce made with butter and onion
Servings
Enough to sauce a lb of pasta
Ingredients
  • 1/2 large onion chopped
  • 4 tablespoons butter divided
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb ripe tomatoes OR
  • 1 28 oz can peeled tomatoes in juice
  • Salt to taste
Servings
Enough to sauce a lb of pasta
Ingredients
  • 1/2 large onion chopped
  • 4 tablespoons butter divided
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb ripe tomatoes OR
  • 1 28 oz can peeled tomatoes in juice
  • Salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Trim the stem end of the tomatoes and cut off any deep imperfections. Coarsely chop the tomatoes. Set aside with juices from cutting board.
    tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  2. Cook onion with a pinch of salt, olive oil and half the butter over low to moderate heat until it softens.
    sauté onions
  3. Once the onions are soft add the chopped tomatoes.
    chopped tomatoes and onions
  4. Add salt to taste and the remaining butter, and cook the tomatoes and onion together over a low simmer until the tomatoes break down and a sauce begins to form. Feel free to mash the tomatoes with a fork or potato masher as they soften.
  5. Note the change in color from red to orange. This color change is a key indicator the the fat (either oil or butter or both) and the tomatoes are combining into a saucy suspension. No orange color, not enough fat to give you the desired mouth feel.
    fresh tomato sauce
  6. Continue cooking over at a lively simmer until sauce thickens enough to nap the pasta. Toss with cooked pasta.
Powered by WP Ultimate Recipe

Share your thoughts