Sunday, September 12, 2010

Artisan Farfalle Pasta with Smoked Salmon and Cream Sauce

While scouting for some novel ingredients, I came across this artisan pasta made by hand in Puglia, Italy. The price tag took me aback, $8  for 85 grams, but their colourful appearance sealed the deal.
The pasta is such a feast for the eyes, stunningly beautiful with its rainbow of colours, just like its namesake the butterfly.  Good quality pasta can be purchased for about $2 dollars per 500 grams and feed a family of six.  Definitely not a recipe aimed for a large family on a budget because contrary to what  the package says, it only serves two as a main course. Sinatra sings "regrets I have a few", but I don't have any regrets when it comes to this pasta. Mind you, I might not be serving it on a regular basis, but what a treat to splurge from time to time, and enjoy the little pleasures.
In order to do justice to these beautiful rainbow farfalle, I had to find the right ingredients for a sauce to highlight the array of colours found in the pasta and compliment their delicate flavour. I  followed the shop owner's suggestion, opting for a mild cream sauce with smoked salmon. After all, the owners of  Montreal's "La Douceur du Marché" at Atwater Market, are food connoisseurs with an excellent knowledge of their specialty products, and who readily provide cooking  suggestions to customers.
However , before getting started on my recipe, allow me to share some information on this wonderful artisan pasta made at the Pastificio Marella.  Below is an an excerpt from  the web site Italian Harvest at:

Hand Made Artisan Pasta from Puglia

High quality hand made white and colorful pasta.

artisan: Hand Made Artisan Pasta from Puglia
"This southern Italian pasta factory run by the Marella family makes pasta the way it was made hundreds of years ago: by hand. In this image you see workers from the factory holding their signature Sombreroni, or large Mexican hats, each of which was folded by hand into the shape of a conical hat. These hats can be stuffed just like Italian home cooks have been doing with ravioli, tortellini, and agnolotti for centuries. The colors are all natural, and take the spinach green, squid ink black, or hot pepper red traditional pastas a step further and combine a fantastic rainbow array of colors into one piece of pasta. This is a feat that is not simple to perform, and still have the pasta hold its shape and not come undone while cooking. Their manually processed white pasta is also equally magnificent and unsurpassable in quality and actual flavor of the pasta itself, regardless of the sauce used for serving. With these pages, we would like to bring you images and facts on the pasta production of one of the finest pasta factories in the world that is located in Puglia, one of the most important regions in Italy for pasta production and consumption."
Artisan Pasta Today
artisan: Artisan Pasta Today"The quality of the locally grown durum wheat and the actual method employed by the Pozzo del Re Factory are the most important aspects of the pasta production. Unlike other pasta factories that may pass the pasta through the dye repeatedly, Pozzo del Re has a minimal number of passes through the dye giving the pasta remarkable strength while preserving the structural integrity of the proteins and glutens."

artisan: Artisan Pasta Today
 "Artisan pasta is extruded through a bronze dye giving the dried pasta a rough texture to better hold the sauce, and yellowish powdery appearance making it look more like real food. The use of this kind of dye works in conjunction with the drying method by Pozzo del Re in order to yield a pasta that will swell up to amazing size and have its own unique flavor."

artisan: Eat Pasta - Live Better!
Sombreroni, or large Mexican hats, definitely my next project

Pretty Butterflies on  Anna's Table

2 shallots, chopped
3 tablespoons extra virgin oil
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, cut into thin slices
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup 15% cooking cream (or 35% cream)
6 ounces smoked salmon cut into bite size pieces

In a large pot of boiling salted water, add 85 grams of pasta and cook according to direction about 7 minutes.

Heat the oil in a saute pan and add the chopped shallots. Cook until transparent, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and the chicken broth and continue to cook for an additional 3-4 minutes until the liquids reduce. Stir in the pesto and sun dried tomatoes. Add the salmon and cream and allow to heat through, about 1-2 minutes.  Serve on the drained cooked pasta.  Serves 2 main courses


  1. Hi Anna,
    Loved the look of this pasta and the background of its origin. I'm thinking that any visit to Italy should include a visit to the artisan pasta shops for a first hand look at their creations. Wouldn't that make for a great tour of Italy?

  2. Ann, It would be wonderful to visit the actual shops in Italy, and then land up in a small trattoria for a lovely meal at the end of the tour.


  3. Thanks Angie, I'm glad you enjoyed the post.

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  5. Супер вкусна рецепта! Опитайте да си я направите! Много лесна е наистина! А и малко история за прекрасното място където тази красива паста се прави!