Pasta perfection: Alfred Portale shares his secrets

A perfect bowl of pasta is a thing of glory. Here, chef Alfred Portale of Gotham Steakin Fontainbleau in Miami Beach and Gotham Bar and Grill in New York City spells out how to make two memorable farfalle and fettuccine dishes.

Farfalle with prosciutto, arugula, cherry tomato and Parmesan

Ingredients

    • 1 stick butter, room temperature
    • 2 cloves garlic, mashed to a paste
    • 1 pound imported Italian bow-tie pasta (farfalle)
    • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
    • 2 cups loosely packed arugula
    • 4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto de Parma – cut into bite-size pieces
    • 3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (plus additional for grating at the table)
    • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
    • 1 tablespoon coarse cracked black pepper
    • 1/2 cup chicken broth (hot)

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Combine garlic and butter, and set aside at room temperature.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add pasta and cook until al dente.  Drain and return pasta to the empty pot.  Immediately add cracked pepper, garlic butter, arugula, tomatoes, prosciutto and grated cheese. Toss constantly and gradually add 3 to 4 tablespoons of the hot chicken broth as the butter and cheese melt and emulsify into a rich and creamy sauce.  Add parsley and toss again. Transfer to a warmed serving bowl.Serve with extra Parmigiano for grating at the table.

Fresh fettuccine and wild mushrooms

Ingredients

    • 1 1/2 pounds wild mushrooms (or exotic cultivated mushrooms like cremini and shiitake)
    • 1 pound fresh fettuccine
    • 2 shallots, finely minced
    • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
    • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, picked
    • 2 sprigs fresh sage, chopped
    • 3 ounces dry white wine
    • 3 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
    • 3 tablespoons freshly chopped basil
    • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
    • 2 cups rich chicken stock
    • 3 tablespoons butter
    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • Pecorino cheese for grating

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Over a medium-high heat, heat the oil in a sauce pan. Add the mushrooms and cook (making sure to stir). Add the shallots, garlic, thyme and sage, and season with salt and pepper. Deglaze the pan with wine and reduce. Add stock and cook until the broth is reduced by half and richly flavored. Stir in butter and keep warm. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain well, and then add to the mushrooms.Toss in the parsley and basil and serve in warmed pasta bowls. Finish each serving with a sprinkle of pine nuts and grated cheese.

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