Fusilli aren’t silly at all as a pasta shape; in fact, they are quite serious. That is, serious about providing all sorts of nooks and crannies for sauce to cling to, making for a seriously delicious plate of pasta. You’re going to want to be in a seriously zen frame of mind to twist hundreds of these little guys. I have found that with fusilli in particular, a healthy pour of delicious wine helps me channel just the right mindset. They are one of my favorite shapes to showcase one color on one side and a different color on another because two tones accent the ringlets.
You will need:
-Metal knitting needle (⅓"or smaller) or metal kebab skewer (the diameter will determine the width of your fusilli tendrils)
-Straight rolling cutter
-¼ batch Blue Butterfly Pea Flower Dough
-¼ batch Speckled Chartreuse Green Parsley-Pepper-Turmeric Dough
1. Roll each color of dough to the third-thinnest setting on a pasta machine, taking care that they are the same size as one another, and as wide as your pasta machine rollers will allow. Flour the bottom of one sheet of pasta and lay it on your surface, unfloured side up. Lay the second sheet of pasta on top of the first, doing your best to match the shape of the base sheet exactly. Flour the top of the second sheet. Gently roll the two sheets together first with a rolling pin, and then with a pasta machine. Once the bicolored sheet is at the third-thinnest pasta machine setting, it’s ready to become fusilli.
2. Work with a quarter sheet of pasta at a time, and keep the remaining sheets covered with a kitchen towel to prevent drying. Using a straight rolling cutter, cut the jagged end off your quarter sheet so that you have a perfect rectangle of pasta. Lightly flour this sheet so that it does not stick to the skewer/needle when twisting.
3. Using the same rolling cutter, cut the sheet crosswise into noodles that are approximately 1/4" to 1/2" wide, and as long as the width of your pasta rollers—ideally somewhere between 5" to 6". Work with one noodle at a time. Place a noodle on the working surface on a diagonal and wrap the near end of it around your skewer/needle, about halfway from the pointed end. Position your open palm across the skewer atop where you’ve wrapped the noodle, and roll it away from you gently against the surface. This will result in the noodle twisting around the skewer in a spiral.
4. Gently slide the noodle off the skewer, taking care not to rip or snag it. If you notice it is really clinging to the skewer, add a little more flour to the remaining noodles. Winding the noodles too tightly around the skewer can also result in sticking. When you move your palm across the surface, do so with just enough pressure to get the noodle and skewer to roll. Don’t apply so much pressure that the noodle smooshes into the skewer.
5. Repeat with remaining fusilli until entire batch has been rolled.
6. Allow the fusilli to rest for 45 minutes or up to 2 hours at room temperature before boiling. If you would like to cook them another day, after they are leathery to touch and no longer sticky, store the pasta on a sheet pan covered in plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to three days. Increase the cooking time by a minute if working with refrigerated pasta.
7. Boil in salted water for 1 to 2 minutes, drain, dress, and serve immediately. Makes 2 servings.
Blue Butterfly Pea Flower Dough
1. Combine 1 cup boiling water with ½ packed cup butterfly pea flowers (available online) in a bowl and stir to make sure all flowers are submerged. Let steep
for 10 minutes, then press the steeped mixture through a strainer directly into the bowl of a standing mixer containing 2 ¼ cups “00” pasta flour. Depending on how well you pressed the flowers, you may need to add a touch more flour to this dough, as it can be on the sticky side.
2. Fit the mixer with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until a ball of dough forms. Continue to knead for 3 minutes, either by hand or
in the mixer, so that the dough develops elasticity and silkiness. Cover the ball of dough in plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before sheeting.
Speckled Chartreuse Green Parsley-Pepper-Turmeric Dough
1. In a large saucepan over high heat, bring 1 tablespoon kosher salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 8 cups water to a boil. Add 1 bunch fresh parsley and blanch it for 15 seconds. Drain and press out the water. Add the parsley to a blender and wait 1 or 2 minutes for it to cool. Add 1 inch fresh turmeric root, peeled and chopped (or ½ teaspoon ground turmeric), ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, and 2 large eggs and blend on low speed at first to combine, then increase the speed and puree until smooth. Strain the puree with a fine-mesh sieve over a small bowl to remove and discard any grainy threads. Pour into the bowl of a standing mixer and combine
with 2¼ cups “00” pasta flour.
Continue with step 2, above.
Photos: Brittany Wright, Courtesy of HarperCollins
Excerpted from Pasta, Pretty Please. Copyright © 2018 by Linda Miller Nicholson. Reprinted by permission of William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
This article originally appeared in the Fall 2021 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!