Biechi | Italian Buckwheat Pasta Recipe
This rare, handmade pasta comes from Friuli-Venezia Giulia, one of the northernmost regions of Italy. Its unusual for a variety of reasons such as the addition of buckwheat flour, the intentionally irregular shape, and the cornmeal-based sauce.
We highly recommend trying this one! Not only is it very simple to make but it boasts one of the most unusual, delicious sauces we've ever tried!
Watch the Pasta Grammar video where we make this recipe here:
To make the pasta, you will need:
- 3/4 cup (100g) buckwheat flour
- 3/4 cup (100g) semolina flour, plus extra for dusting
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp (30g) unsalted butter, room temperature
To make the sauce, you will need:
- 3 1/2 tbsp (50g) unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup (40g) cornmeal
- Grated Montasio cheese (or substitute Parmigiano-Reggiano) for topping
Mix the two flour types together and pour into a pile on a smooth work surface. Hollow out the center to form a volcano shape. Into the center depression, crack the eggs and add a pinch of salt.
Use a fork to whisk the eggs while gradually incorporating the surrounding flour. When a thick goop forms, break or cut the butter into small chunks and add them into the mixture. Use your hands to fold in more flour and begin kneading by hand. Continue to knead until the dough is smooth and soft but not sticky.
The amount of flour can vary depending on the climate, so don't worry if the dough doesn't incorporate all of the flour (or requires a little more). The dough is smart and will take as much as it wants! If you need to dust it with more flour, do so with semolina.
Wrap the finished dough in plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Dust a smooth work surface with semolina flour and use a rolling pin to roll the dough out into a large, thin sheet. Dust the dough with more flour if it's at all sticky. Using a paring knife, cut the dough sheet into random, triangular shapes. No need to be precise! The whole point is that the pasta is irregular and "poorly" cut.
Arrange the finished pasta on a plate or baking sheet and dust with more flour to prevent sticking.
To cook the pasta, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and salt it generously.
Add the butter into a skillet over medium heat. When it has nearly melted completely, add the pasta into the boiling water. Stir once or twice and boil for 2-3 minutes, or until "al dente" to your taste.
Meanwhile, sprinkle the cornmeal over the butter and stir it in. It should form a thick paste.
When the pasta is ready, use a slotted spoon to transfer it into the sauce, along with a spoonful of pasta water. Stir all together over medium heat until the sauce coats the pasta well.
Serve immediately, topped with grated cheese. Buon appetito!