For the pasta
1 cup semolina flour
1t nori flakes
A pinch coarse sea salt
1/3 cup warm water
1t olive oil
2 liters water and 2t coarse sea salt for boiling
For the sauce
2T cooking oil
1/4t coarse sea salt
2 scallions, minced
1/2t dried basil, rubbed
1/4t dried oregano, rubbed
1/4t dried rosemary, rubbed
1/4t dried thyme, rubbed
1/4t dried marjoram, rubbed
1/4t dried red chili flakes (or to taste)
1/4t black pepper, freshly ground
2 cups cremini mushrooms, 1/2″ slices
1 cup artichoke hearts, finely chopped
1T lemon juice
2 cups passata (or tomato puree)
1 cup vegetable stock
2 cups green kale, coarsely chopped
2T pasta water
1/2T arrowroot powder dissolved in 1T cold water
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste
Optional: This is a relatively light sauce, close to soup. For a heavier sauce, reduce 3 cups of passata by about half and then add with the vegetable stock. Double the stock for a soup. Leave out the oil in the pasta and Water saute the scallion for a no oil version. A little red wine in the sauce will add depth and flavour. 2T sun-dried tomatoes, minced, added with the stock will also add depth. If you’d prefer your kale a little crunchier, add it to the sauce with the pasta.
First, start the pasta, then make the sauce. Mix the flour, nori and sea salt. Mix the oil and the 1/3 cup water. Mix the wet with the dry, and knead until a smooth elastic dough forms, and then another two minutes. Cover with a warm wet tea towel and let rest about 30 minutes.
In a large frying pan with a lid, bring the cooking oil to heat on medium high. Add the scallions, the dried green herbs and the chili. Saute for 2-3 minutes until the herbs are fragrant. Add the garlic and saute for another minute. Add the mushrooms and artichoke hearts and saute for 5-7 minutes, or until the mushrooms have softened and have become lightly browned.
Add the lemon juice and deglaze the pan. Add the stock and the passata. Return the pan to a simmer, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer while you make the pasta.
On a floured board, roll the pasta out to a large rectangle about 1/8″ thick. Trim uneven edges with a knife or a pastry cutter (I use a pastry cutter). Cut the pasta in about 1 1/2″ to 2″ strips by 1/2″ to 3/4″ strips. Larger is more traditional, and the smaller the strip, the more time you’ll spend curling. Smaller, however, is a little easier until you get the hang of the twist.
When the pieces are cut, carefully twist each in a ringlet/curl fashion. Take one end of the pasta and twist toward you. Twist the other end of the strip away from you. For a shorter strip, twist once. For a longer strip, twist twice.
As you twist, however, be careful to keep as round of a shape to the twist as you can — otherwise, your pasta will not have the ringlet shape that makes this dish a delight. Press each end of the curled pasta gently to the board so that it won’t unravel while it dries.
Note, you can always twist more more than twice if you have the patience and dexterity. You can also curl the pasta around a dowels if you have them, although this is more complicated. If you don’t get the curl you like with an individual piece, just add the piece to the trimmed dough, and roll back out until you have a board full of lovely curls. As with many pastas, practice makes perfect.
Repeat until you’ve used all of the dough. Let the curled pasta stand for at least 20 minutes to dry in that shape. Drying helps keep the shape of the curl.
When the pasta has dried, add the kale to the sauce and stir to combine. Increase the heat of the pan to medium-low and leave loosely covered. In a large pan, bring the 2 liters water to a light boil with the sea salt. Carefully add the curls to the water. Boil lightly until they start to float (a few minutes). Don’t overcook and drain immediately, adding 2T pasta water and the pasta to the sauce. Stir to combine.
Simmer, stirring frequently for 2 minutes. Add the arrowroot mixture slowly, stirring constantly, until it thickens. Remove from heat. Add the nutritional yeast. Stir to combine. Season to taste. Ladle out into bowls and serve.