Who: Chef Lauren DeSteno
Chef DeSteno’s Guest-Worthy Recipe: Rigatoni with shrimp and cuttlefish “sausage” and pecorino fonduta
Why? “This dish is quite unconventional. The combination of shellfish and cheese is not common (even considered taboo by some), but it works incredibly well together. The cuttlefish and shrimp both have a bit of sweetness on their own, but are complemented by the earthy-sweetness of the garlic and the peas. This all gets balanced by a bit of dry white wine and then brought together by the fonduta. We use both pecorino and Parmigiano in the sauce (fonduta), giving the dish a bit of bite and the inherent umami that brings it all together.”
1 c heavy cream
1/3 c finely grated Parmigiano-
1/3 c plus 1/4 c finely grated Pecorino Romano
1 lb rigatoni
1 lb cleaned cuttlefish or squid,
1 lb large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and medium diced
1 c peas
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil, plus more for finishing
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
Red pepper flakes
1/4 c dry white wine
1 Tbsp thinly sliced fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
Juice of 1 lemon, or to taste
To make the fonduta:
Put the cream in a small, heavy saucepan, bring to a simmer over low heat, and reduce by half, about eight minutes.
Whisk in the Parmigiano and a third of a cup of the pecorino.
Remove the pan from the heat and keep covered and warm.
To make the pasta:
Fill a large pot about two-thirds full with water, salt it liberally, and bring to a boil over high heat.
Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about nine minutes.
Heat a large heavy pot over medium heat. Pour in the olive oil and tip and tilt the pot to coat it, heating the oil until it is shimmering and almost smoking. Add the garlic and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until softened but not browned, about two minutes. Stir in the red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the diced shrimp and cuttlefish (or squid) and cook, until the shrimp is opaque, about two minutes.
When the pasta is done, use a heatproof liquid measuring cup to scoop out and reserve about one cup of the cooking liquid and drain the pasta.
Pour in the wine and use the wooden spoon to loosen any flavorful bits cooked onto the bottom of the pot. Cook until the pan is almost dry, about four minutes, then pour in about a third of a cup of the pasta water and bring it to a simmer. Add the fonduta and stir until incorporated.
Peas can be added for some color and spring flavor. Tossing in one cup of cooked green peas when you add the cooked pasta to the sauce pot would brighten it up a bit. The pasta water is a secret weapon in this dish; the starch in it will help the sauce emulsify and coat the pasta.
Add the cooked pasta to the pot, along with the remaining quarter-cup pecorino and parsley, and toss well. The sauce should be moist but not soupy. If it is too dry, adjust the consistency with a little of the reserved pasta cooking liquid. If it is too wet, continue to cook and toss until thickened. Season to taste with salt and lemon juice and finish with a drizzle of olive oil.
Divide the pasta among plates or wide, shallow bowls and serve at once.