(42) Maccaronara with Ricotta Salata @ A16

To be honest the Maccaronara with Ricotta Salata at A16 just didn't do it for me. The ragu was flat, no character, no real flavor. Same with the cheese, just sorta meh. The noodles were thick and chewy but it  reminded me of soba noodles you would find in Asian cuisine instead of Italian cuisine. Perhaps they were having an off day on their maccaronara or perhaps a better item should be featured on the list? I did however really enjoy sitting at the chef's bar. Snag a seat there if you can! I was completely entranced with the pizza making and line cook action. Really exciting fun stuff. I was so engrossed in everything that my server asked me if I too were a chef (so flattering! I wish!), to which I replied, "No, I'm just really interested." Watch the video below to get a taste of the experience.
Maccaronara with Ricotta Salata @ A16. Photo credit: Kendra Aronson.
Maccaronara with Ricotta Salata @ A16. Photo credit: Kendra Aronson.

Maccaronara with Ricotta Salata @ A16 ($10/small, $18/regular)
2355 Chestnut Street
San Francisco, CA 94123
Monday & Tuesday > 5:30 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Wednesday & Thursday > 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Friday > 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m. - 11 p.m.
Saturday > 5 p.m. - 11 p.m.
Sunday > 5 p.m. - 10 p.m.

Makes about 2 1/2 pounds 
6 1/4 cups 00 flour or all purpose flour, plus more as needed 
2 teaspoons Kosher salt 
1 ½ cups water 
1 egg, lightly beaten 
1. In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine 6 cups flour and salt. On low speed, drizzle in the water and egg, and mix just until combined. Knead on medium-low speed for 3 minutes. Check the consistency of the dough. It should feel slightly tacky but not sticky. If the dough sticks to your fingers, add 1/4 cup more flour. Continue to knead the dough for 10 minutes to build up its strength. At this point, the dough should feel warm and a little stiff yet softer than a pasta dough made with semolina (such as tonnarelli). If it is very soft and feels more like a pizza or bread dough, add more flour and continue to knead. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces, wrap each piece tightly in plastic, and let rest for about 30 minutes. The dough will soften as it rests.  
2. Clear off a large area of the counter or kitchen table, and prepare a well-floured work surface. If using a head-cranked pasta machine, attach it to the counter or table next to the floured surface, and fit the machine with the rollers on the widest setting (these are smooth rollers that will transform the dough into long, thin strips for cutting later). If using an attachment for a stand mixer, set the machine up to the side of the work surface and attach the rollers.  
3. Unwrap a piece of the dough and transfer it to the work surface. With a rolling pin, flatten the dough into a rectangle ½-inch thick and no wider than will fit comfortably through the rollers (typically less than six inches). Guide the dough through the first setting of the pasta machine, and then return it to the work surface to dust it lightly with flour. Fold the dough strip into thirds (like a business letter), flatten with the rolling pin, and send the piece through the machine again on the first setting. Repeat two more times, and then switch to the next narrower setting. Guide the dough through the second setting twice, dusting with flour after each pass, and then switch to the next narrower setting. Guide the dough through the third setting twice. The dough will become longer, thinner, and more even with each pass. If at any point it becomes too long to handle easily, cut it in half. Continue to pass the dough through the rollers, adjusting to narrower settings, until the dough is about 1/8-inch thick.  
4. Cut the pasta sheet(s) into 10-inch-long rectangles while retaining the width (about 5 inches). Sprinkle each piece generously with flour, and then stack the rectangles to clear space so you can work. Repeat with the remaining dough pieces.  
5. Select a baking sheet or pan that will fit in your freezer, and line it with parchment paper or dust with flour. To cut the dough sheets into noodles, starting from a narrow end, roll up a rectangle into a cylinder. Then, using a very sharp knife, cut the cylinder crosswise into 1/8-inch-wide strips to create noodles 10 inches long and 1/8 inch wide. Dredge the noodles through flour so they don’t stick together, divide into 4-ounce portions, and curl each portion around your fingers to form a nest. Place the noodle nests on the prepared pan and repeat with the remaining rectangles. At this point, the noodles can be boiled or stored. 


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