A Dreamy Cheese Marriage Is the Start of This Pasta Dish
by Jon Bennion
The good folks at Artikaas have created the goldendoodle of cheeses. Their cheese called Parèggio is a delicious fusion of parmesan and Gouda cheese that captures the best qualities of both. Using parmesan cultures to start and aging it like a Gouda lends a wonderful blend of nutty and salty qualities along with a great creaminess to this award-winning cheese.
After sampling Parèggio’s unique and tasty properties, I decided to build a whole pasta dish around it. For the supporting cast, I leaned hard into fall ingredients that bring sweetness, herbiness, and earthiness. Caramelized onions add a wonderfully sweet quality to the dish, while mushrooms bring a hearty savoriness. Thyme and parsley make cameos as natural partners to the other ingredients. But, the Parèggio is, without a doubt, the true star that ties this homemade fall pasta dish together.
The vehicle used here is an egg-based pasta in the form of filled “cappelletti,” which means “little hats” in Italian. If you are just starting your homemade pasta journey, there are plenty of directions below to make your dough from scratch.
- 3 regular eggs (about 175-180 grams)
- 300 grams of flour (about 1 ¾ - 2 cups)
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp thyme leaves
- 2 ounces Parèggio
- ¼ cup cream
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
- 1 medium onion sliced (about 15-16 oz)
- 8 ounces mushrooms
- 1 ½ tsp balsamic vinegar
- 3 tbsp butter
- 8 oz mushrooms cut ¼ inch thick
- ½ tsp fresh thyme leaves
- Splash white wine
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Fresh chopped parsley
- 2 oz grated Parèggio
Make your pasta dough first. Lay your flour on your counter and create a well in the middle with the bottom of a bowl. Crack your eggs into the center and mix by breaking the yolks with a fork and then bringing bits of flour to the center. As the eggs get thicker from added flour, pull in greater amounts of flour until you can use your fork to start cutting/smashing all of the flour into the wetter parts of the dough.
At this point, it’s time to get your (clean) hands dirty by starting to fold the dough onto itself and knead it together for 10 minutes. This will be messy at first but it starts to magically smooth out around 7-8 minutes of kneading. After 10 minutes of kneading, wrap the dough in plastic wrap. Let it rest for 30 minutes at room temperature or up to 12 hours in the fridge. If you refrigerate, give it 30 minutes to come to room temperature before you roll it out.
In a sauté pan, melt your butter on medium heat and sweat your sliced onions. Place a piece of aluminum foil over the top. Check on them after 3-4 minutes. When you start to see a bit of browning, add a few tablespoons of water to the pan and stir. Cover again and repeat this process several times as the onions caramelize and get more uniformly brown. When your onions are light brown, roughly chop your mushrooms into small pieces and add them to the pan along with the thyme. Sauté for 7-8 minutes. Add your balsamic vinegar and mix well, then turn off the heat. Allow the contents to cool to room temperature.
Add the cooled pan contents to a food processor along with the ¼ cup cream, cubed ½ inch pieces of Parèggio, and parsley. Blitz until it’s fairly smooth, scraping the sides of the food processor to make sure you get an even texture. Place into a piping or plastic bag.
Roll out your pasta into strips using a pasta machine or a rolling pin. You don’t have to take it to the thinnest setting on the pasta machine, as it may be too delicate to make your filled ravioli. You can do the third or second-to-last setting. To make “cappelletti,” use a circular cutter (about 3 ½ inches) to make pasta rounds. Fill (don’t overfill!) the middle of a round with about a tablespoon of filling.
Dampen your finger with a tiny bit of water and run it around the inside edge of half the round. Then, pull the other side over the top of the filling and seal to make a half circle. Make sure you are getting as much air out of the inside as you seal it. Next, using your thumb, gently make an indent on the filled side of the pasta, and then bring the two edges of the half circle together. You can pinch the edges together so they stay in their circular “little hats” form. Place filled and shaped cappelletti on a parchment lined baking sheet that is dusted with a bit of flour.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. While you are waiting to cook your pasta, you can start on the sauce. Melt 3 tbsps of butter in a sauté pan and add the sliced mushrooms and thyme leaves. Cook on medium heat for 6-8 minutes, turning the mushrooms so they get cooked on both sides. Add your splash of white wine and let it cook off.
Drop your cappelletti in the water. They need to cook in boiling water for about 4-5 minutes. While those are cooking, add the cream to the mushrooms and bring to light simmer. Once it reaches a simmer, shut off the heat, add the grated Parèggio and parsley, and stir in gently. Check your seasoning levels and adjust as your palate tells you.
You can either take the strained and cooked cappelletti and add them directly to the mushroom sauce pan to let them all get coated, or you can spoon the sauce over the strained and cooked cappelletti when you plate. Top with more grated Parèggio and enjoy!