Chicken and Sfoglietti Pasta Soup

Recipe and photo contributed by Simona Carini Yield:  2 servings
Prep Time:  20 minutes Cook Time:  5 minutes

Chicken and Sfoglietti Pasta Soup

Some people find making pasta by hand intimidating. The solution, however, is simple: knead a small amount of dough, like I suggest in the recipe below, and give yourself and your hands time to get acquainted with the new task. Once you become comfortable with the process, multiply the amount of ingredients to accommodate the number of guests around your table. Allow at least 30 minutes to 1 hour for the dough to rest.

I recommend the use of homemade chicken or vegetable broth for the soup. I make what I call “chicken stock/broth” using the trimmings and carcass of chicken I roasted (one or two) and a bag of trimmings I buy from the same provider of the chicken. They sell breasts and thighs separately, so they have meaty trimmings that they bag and sell for stock. I then use vegetables like carrots, onions, and celery, but also vegetable trimmings, from corn cobs to roasted winter squash skin to leek leaves to basil and parsley stems, all contributing to enriching the flavor of the final filtered liquid. A shorter cooking time lets some flavor and nutrients remain in the chicken meat. I separate it from the bones, cut it into pieces, and make chicken soup with it.

Ingredients

Sfoglietti:

½ cup plus ½ tablespoon (80 grams/3 ounces minus 1 teaspoon) King Arthur’s Pasta Blend, plus more, as needed

OR

a blend of ¼ cup plus ½ teaspoon (40 grams) semolina flour and ⅓ cup minus 1 teaspoon (40 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more, as needed

1 extra-large egg, from pastured poultry, if possible

Soup:

3 cups homemade chicken broth or Roasted Vegetable Stock, or store-bought, organic chicken or vegetable broth

7 ounces cooked chicken, diced (optional)

12 to 16 snap peas, cut into ¼-inch slices (optional)

1 tablespoon snipped chives (optional)

Instructions

Make the sfoglietti:

  1. Pour the flour onto a work surface, and create a well in it. Crack the egg directly into it. the well. Beat the egg lightly with a fork. Draw flour from the sides of the well into the center, mixing it well with the egg.
  2. Trade the fork for your fingertips. Draw flour into the center until a soft dough forms. Add more flour as needed to obtain a rather firm, non-sticky dough. Knead the dough (See Kitchen Tip) for 8 to 10 minutes. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for an hour or so (at least half an hour).
  3. When you are ready to start rolling the dough, preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
  4. Divide the dough into 2 to 3 pieces and roll into strips with rolling pin or a pasta machine to a thickness of 1 millimeter, no more (that equals about two-thirds of 1/16 inch; it’s very thin). On my machine, I stop at the second-to-last notch. Don’t worry too much about how many strips you make or the shape they acquire during rolling, as the baked pasta will be broken into pieces.You just need to be able to fit them onto a baking sheet, so you might have to cut them to fit.
  5. Transfer the rolled dough onto the baking sheet in a single layer. If necessary, use two baking sheets. Place in the oven. Bake for 4 minutes; remove from the oven and turn the strips. Return to the oven and bake for another 3 to 4 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and transfer the pasta strips onto a rack. Let cool completely. Then,  with your hands, break the pasta into bite-sized, uneven pieces. Voilà: sfoglietti. At this point, you can proceed with making the soup or you can store the sfoglietti in an airtight container until needed.

Make the soup:

  1. Bring the broth to a boil in a saucepan, add the sfoglietti and snap peas, if using. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the pasta is tender.
  2. In the meantime, if the chicken is cold, warm it up in the microwave. Once the pasta is cooked, add it to the soup and stir. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Ladle the soup into bowls and optionally garnish with chives.

Kitchen Tips

From the Test Kitchen:

  1. Kneading is a technique used to develop bread, pastry, and pasta doughs and make them smooth and easy to work. To knead dough, press it down firmly with the heel of your hand, fold it over, rotate a quarter-turn on your work surface (don’t turn it over), and repeat the process.

From Simona:

  1. Find more details about my chicken stock/broth in this post: http://www.pulcetta.com/2012/07/minestra-di-fagioli-pollo-e-pasta.html
  2. Choose at least one of the optional ingredients to enliven the soup. And feel free to adjust the amounts up or down to suit your taste.

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