In my researching interesting pasta dishes for a restaurant I worked at, I came across this dish in Carol Field’s excellent book “In Nonna’s Kitchen”. I was taken by the rustic simplicity that I had to try it right away. I made it first for my sous chef Keith Schneider and dining room manager Frederic Watson. All of us were consumed by the simple flavors of basil married with tomato married with the soft pasta layers. I tried finding references in other Italian books and couldn’t really find much. The only other reference to it was a form of ancient flat bread baked directly in the hot coals of a fire.
Making Panigacci is more like making crepes than rolling pasta. The first step is making the batter.
- 9 ounces Flour ( I used all purpose)
- pinch Sea Salt
- 2-1/3 c. filtered Water
- Mix the ingredients and strain into a four cup glass measuring cup.
- Heat a small amount of oil in a Teflon pan and pour just enough batter to make a “crepe’.
- 1 small fingerling potato peeled and boiled
- 1 clove Garlic
- 1/4 cup of pine nuts
- 1 cup Parmesan
- 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound of basil leaves, blanch and shocked
- Put potato, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan and Olive Oil into bowl of food processor. Process till smooth and creamy.
- Add blanched basil that has been squeezed completely dry and puree till bright green and smooth.
To assemble and cook your Panigacci
Spoon one tablespoon of pesto over each ‘crepe’. Roast the whole panigacci in your oven, or wood burning oven till browned lightly, about ten minutes. Cut into wedges and serve on a San Marzano tomato sauce. Try this immediately. You will absolutely fall in love with it. Thank You Carol Field for publishing such a great recipe! I strongly suggest finding her books and buying them all!