Over the weekend, Kathleen brought me a prezzie – a package of malfadine that she found out her local Italian market. She thought the shape just looked like fun and figured I could do something with it. I was so happy – little did Kathleen know, but malfadine, which looks like thin lasagna noodles (same wavy edges), is having a moment right now. Lilia, a restaurant in Brooklyn makes a pink peppercorn Parmesan dish with it that has become Insta famous. I’d never even heard of malfadine before, but now I see it all over the internets. I wasn’t planning on cooking it so soon, but when my beau came home on Sunday and said he was craving a creamy pasta Sunday supper, I started planning something.
This dish is very easy to pull together – actual active time is maybe 20 minutes. However, one of the main ingredients is roasted garlic and that takes some time. Easy time, but time nonetheless. Start by cutting the top off a full head of garlic, smear oil over the whole thing and wrap it up in aluminum foil. Roast it at 400 for an hour. When the garlic is done, pull it out of the oven, unwrap it, and let it cool a bit while you start on the rest. Start cooking your malfadine pasta while sautéing a head of broccoli in a separate [very large] saucepan. When the broccoli is nice and bright green, add some half and half and a large handful of grated Parmesan. The amount of half and half and cheese you use is dependent on how much pasta and broccoli you’re cooking. I was using a lot of both so I may have used around a cup of half and half (maybe more?) – a ton of pasta was getting made and I needed enough sauce to lightly cover all of it. When you add in those two main sauce ingredients, add in your roasted garlic. At this point, it should have cooled down enough to handle. You can simply squeeze the whole head of garlic and the roasted cloves will pop out of their little pods. Run your knife through it so it’s basically a paste and add it to the broccoli and sauce. Let the whole thing start to simmer while you cook up a pound of shrimp that you’ve tossed in some paprika and cayenne. The shrimp will only take about 5 minutes to cook so when they’re done, set them aside. When the pasta is done cooking, the sauce will be too. Add the pasta to the broccoli and sauce, turning it over till everything is nicely coated. The sauce should not be too think. It’s a light cream sauce, not an alfredo. If you need to, add a little pasta water to thin it a bit. Pile it all in a bowl and add the shrimp to the top.
This was so satisfying. It felt like the ultimate Sunday supper. The components are simple. Pasta, cream sauce, broccoli, and shrimp. These are all relatively expected. But the garlic, having been toasted, gives a deep caramelized flavor to the sauce. It’s pretty amazing that you can create a delicious cream sauce with just two ingredients (half and half + parm), but it’s even more amazing that you can make an extra delicious sauce by adding roasted garlic – something that takes no hands-on time. The shrimp adds just the right amount of spice to this dish, too. And the pasta holds the sauce really well thanks to those wavy gravy edges. I’m new to the malfadine world, but it’s a world I wanna live in.
Few ingredients, very little expertise needed, crazy good flavor. This really is the ultimate Sunday supper. And just look at that pasta pull! Ughhhh I love me some noods.