Confession time: I had a good amount of fresh pasta left over from the ricotta agnolotti I recently made. I tell myself it was due to the fact that my teaspoon-sized fillings were fat teaspoons.
I came up with a way to use up those sheets, to allay my guilt. SO! If you happen to make agnolotti or any filled pasta and find yourself with a surplus of pasta, you know what to do . . .
Make thyme Asiago pasta crackers!
There are two or four layers of oil folded into the sheets. When broiled, it causes the pasta dough to puff up into large crispy bubbles. The result is a crispy cracker that is very thin and fancy—that shatters and makes a bit of a crumby mess on the table. I kind of love that.
- Leftover pasta sheets
- Olive oil
- A hunk of asiago (or any other hard cheese)
- Sprigs of thyme (or another robust herb you have handy)
- Egg wash (egg + water)
- Brush the surface of the pasta sheet with a light coating of olive oil. (Use a brush or your hands.)
- Fold the sheet in half, hamburger-style (versus hot dog-style) and run through the pasta machine again. Repeat. Thickness is up to you, but I find that a 5 on the KitchenAid Pasta roller worked great. It should be a bit thinner than lasagna pasta. Place pasta on a cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining pasta sheets and place them on cookie sheet, too.
- Brush with eggwash. Grate cheese over the top with a microplaner, to your taste. I like cheese so I loaded it on there. The cheese adds saltiness, so I didn't salt the crackers additionally. Sprinkle whole leaves of thyme on the surface
- Turn on our oven's broiler setting, on low and set a rack up near the top.
- Once preheated (about 2 minutes) place the cookie sheet with the pasta under the broiler. Keep the oven door open and watch it like a hawk. It will start to puff up and become golden brown and awesome. It will also turn on you on a dime and become black char, so that's why you have to watch.
- Once side A looks good, pull out the tray and carefully flip over the pasta. Broil that side, too. The whole process takes mere minutes.
- Once done, let the puffed up sheets cool and reach room temperature before serving with whatever you want (olives, charcuterie, greens).
Preparing the crackers directly on the sheet spares you from the arduous task of transporting the floppy sheets after they’ve been composed.
These crackers kind of remind me of the very thin crackers that people serve cold-smoked salmon on. (Remember, I live in Washington state. The salmon gets pulled out at a lot of dinner parties and holiday celebrations during this time of year.) Those crackers cost like $6 a box.
Pasta crackers? Basically free.