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Recipes // Main Dish Pasta // Bucatini Dome

Bucatini Dome

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By: Francine Sagan

Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 14 tablespoons butter, plus more for the pan
  • 5 to 6 slender zucchini (about 2 pounds), minced
  • 3 medium carrots, minced
  • 3/4 pound haricot verts or very thin string beans, minced
  • 1 1/4 pounds bucatini or perciatelli, preferably Garofalo brand
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup grated pecorino cheese
  • Black pepper
  • 3/4 pound deli-sliced high-quality provolone or sliced caciocavallo cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F/180 C. Very generously butter an 8 to 9-inch dome-shaped oven-safe container such as a Pyrex or metal bowl.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a large frying pan and add zucchini; fry until soft. Put the zucchini into a large bowl. Using the same pan, cook the carrots and string beans in 1 tablespoon of butter over low heat, covered, until tender, adding a few drops of water, if needed. Stir into the bowl with the zucchini until well combined. Set aside 1 cup of this vegetable mixture as garnish for later.
  3. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water for 2/3 of the package’s recommended time. Drain and divide, putting 3/4 of the pasta into the large bowl of vegetables and the remaining 1/4 into a small bowl with 2 tablespoons of butter. Set aside; the small bowl, it will be used for the outer part of the dome.
  4. Add 9 tablespoons of butter to the pasta-vegetable bowl and stir until the butter melts, then stir in the beaten eggs, pecorino cheese, and freshly grated black pepper. Using kitchen scissors, cut into the pasta mixture so it is broken up a little. Set aside.
  5. From the plain buttered pasta, using one strand and starting in the center of the prepared domed container, twirl the pasta around itself to form a coil. Continue the coil with another strand of pasta starting where the last strand ended so it is in one continuous line; continue with additional strands until half way up the pan. Line the pasta with slices of caciocavallo cheese, pressing the cheese firmly against the pasta. Put in half of the vegetable-pasta mixture, pressing firmly into the bottom and sides of the bowl to remove any air pockets and densely pack the filling. Top with cheese slices.
  6. Continue coiling the plain pasta around the dome to the top, adding a strand at the exact spot the last ended. Line the sides with more cheese slices and top with the remaining vegetable-pasta mixture and slices of cheese. Press the pasta down firmly with a spatula or wooden spoon. This is key to getting a nice compact dome that stays together nicely when sliced. Cut the remaining plain buttered pasta with scissors and press on top of the mixture.
  7. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and bake uncovered for another 15 minutes, until golden and set. Let rest 10 minutes, then put a serving plate on top of the bowl, and invert it. Hit with a wooden spoon to help the pasta release from the pan, and, using the tip of a spoon or butter knife along the bottom edge of the bowl, begin to remove the bowl from the pasta. Serve garnished with the reserved cup of minced vegetables.
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