This dish comes from some leftover cauliflower mashed potato puree I had made from the night before.  In the south of Italy they all kinds of pasta that they stuff with potato so I thought why not take the leftovers and fill some manti shaped pasta with it.  This is one way that not only restaurants but even you at home can take something already made and turn it into a whole new dish that no one will ever know, not even if you served the puree the night before.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Basic Egg Pasta
2 eggs
3 egg yolks
2 tbsp warm water
2 cups flour
1 cup semolina
1 tsp of salt 

Cauliflower Puree
1/2 head of cauliflower with most of the stem intact
1 large idaho peeled and large chopped potato
1 stick of butter
splash of milk if needed
salt and pepper to taste

Leek Sauce
1 lb of leek tops cooked in salted boiling water for 3-5 minutes until tender
1/3 cup of cream
4 tbsp of butter
salt to taste

2 leek bottoms sliced 1/4 inch thick and blanched
8 oz of Nameko mushrooms
2 tbsp of olive oil
4 tbsp of butter
1 black australian truffle rough chopped
salt and pepper to taste

basil flowers to garnish 

For the Cauliflower puree,

Place cauliflower and potatoes in a small pot and fill with water.  Add salt and bring to a boil.  Turn down and simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.  Strain out the water well and using a hand blender puree the mixture adding butter and milk if needed.  Season with salt and pepper.  Use hot for another recipe, otherwise cool completely (overnight is best).

For the leek sauce,

Place leek tops in boiling salted water and cook until tender but still vibrant green (approximately 3-5 minutes). Meanwhile heat up cream in a small pot. Strain the leek tops and place in the vitamin with the hot cream. Puree until smooth, while the blender is still running add the butter. If the sauce is a touch thick you can thin out with a little of the blanching water. Season with salt and keep warm.

For the Pasta

Place 2 cups of flour and 1 cup of semolina in a bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour.  Add eggs, yolks, water, and salt.  With a fork stir the egg mixture until it starts to form a ball of dough.  Then use your hands to form the dough.   Add more flour if the dough is wet.  Knead the pasta for 5 minutes and then cover and rest for at least 30 minutes. 

Take your pasta and cut in half.  Leave one half covered while you work with the other half.  Take the half of the pasta with a rolling pin and roll until the dough is thin enough to fit inside the biggest setting on your pasta machine ( I use the kitchen aid attachment).  Then run the pasta all the way down to the lowest setting twice.  Dusting the dough with flour if it is too wet. Then on the third time run it down to the number 6 or 7 setting depending on the strength of the dough.  Again, Use a little flour for dusting.  If you feel like the dough is very strong and good density to it you might be fine with a 7 setting.  If you feel like the dough is "loose" and doesn't have the structure to it then you might want to go a little thicker with a number 6 setting.  One you have the flat pasta all laid out you can take an adjustable pasta cutter (here) and cut 1 by 1 inch squares.  Then take your cauliflower puree and place in a plastic piping bag.  Cut the tip off and place a small dollop on each square.  Using a water spray bottle or a pastry brush, spray or brush lightly the pasta ends.  Then taking one side of the square in each hand, pinch the two ends together one in the left hand and the other in the right hand.  Then bring both hands to the cent pinch all 4 ends together forming a pyramid or a manti.  Continue the process until you have all the pasta shapes made.  It should look something like this.

manti raw.JPG

To Finish,

In a large saute pan add 1 tbsp of butter, olive oil, leeks and mushrooms.  Cook for 3 minutes.  Meanwhile place your pasta in salted boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes until they float to the top.  Strain off and place the pasta in the saute pan. Add a little of the cooking water to the pan along with the rest of the butter to make a pan sauce.  Season the whole pan with salt and pepper.  Then add some of the sauce to the bottom of the bowl. Add leeks and mushrooms around the plate. Add the pasta on top of the sauce. Finish with chopped truffles, flowers and olive oil. Serve and enjoy!

manti.JPG

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