Shaya: Ricotta Cavatelli with White

The other Food52 Cookbook Club book this month is Shaya by Alon Shaya and there are so many recipes from it we’d love to try. Aaron had a day off and has been wanting to venture into pasta making for a while so I thought this would be a rather easy first step – Ricotta Cavatelli with White Bolognese.

The pasta is rolled out onto the bench and then cut into squares, then you fold the squares over to form the shape. They cook in boiled water in 2-3 minutes. The Bolognese on the other hand, simmers for a couple of hours until the liquid dissipates. It differs from Marcella Hazan’s Bolognese by not having tomatoes and using pork rather than beef. There’s also fennel and orange as driving flavors in this sauce.

This was yummy. Our 12 year old said it was the best thing he’s eaten all week. The pasta could probably have been rolled thinner, it was a bit chewy, but heck, this is our first time making fresh pasta, so that can be forgiven.

The problem: it tastes way too familiar. Then we realized it is Hamburger Helper. That you can get from a box. And cook in 20 minutes. A cheap American family dinner. Meaning, this was not worth the effort. We’re pretty bummed because it was a yummy meal and Aaron spent a long time making it. But it is not one we would make again. Not when the results echo something that we could do much easier and cheaper. I guess they can’t all be winners.