Pasta gets a plant-based upgrade at chef Matthew Kenney’s vegan Italian hot spot Sestina, and now you can try some of the delicious recipes right from your own kitchen.
After the success of his plant-based pizzeria Double Zero and Mexican restaurant Bar Verde, chef Matthew Kenney brings another vegan Italian joint to the East Village: Sestina. The pasta bar features small plates and desserts paired with a sustainable wine program. Guests can watch chefs cook meals at the glass-enclosed pasta bar, which serves elevated comfort dishes such as gnocchi with walnut, sage, butter sauce and pumpkin seed Parmesan; casarecce with wild mushroom soy bean crema and truffle; and saffron risotto with capers and zucchini. Pair your pasta with truffle “cheese” with fig spread and fennel seed crisps and zeppole with chocolate hazelnut ganache. The brunch menu features classic pastas, plus brioche with cashew mascarpone and seasonal marmalade and chia yogurt with lemon custard and granola. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can re-create the plant-based Italian fare at home with the recipe for cavatelli al pomodoro below, or purchase premade pastas, sauces, pantry staples and bottled cocktails at the marketplace. 62 Second Ave.
7.05 oz. semolina flour
3.53 oz. type 00 flour
7.05 oz. durum flour
8.82 oz. water, warmed to 85-90F
1. On a table, combine the flours and create a well, making sure the walls are about 1 inch thick. (This is so the water does not escape.) Add the first 7.05 oz. of water and, using your fingers from your dominant hand, allow the dough to come together by pulling from the edges and amalgamating the water and flour to create a paste. Gradually add the remaining water, pausing to touch to check the dough’s progress along the way. It should all be coming together and more on the drier side.
2. Keep kneading the dough by hand, forming a log shape, about 12 inches long and refolding into itself. The dough should feel silky smooth by the time it is ready, approximately 4 to 6 minutes of continuous kneading. Wrap in saran wrap and rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
3. Roll pasta dough out to a ½-inch cylinder and use a knife or bench scraper to cut out ¾-inch pieces. Make cavatelli by rolling them over a gnocchi board, pressing down with your thumb as you roll to create the indentation. Toss into semolina flour, allowing to just coat the pasta, and sift any excess away. Lay on a tray and freeze or cook immediately. This can stay frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months or refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
CHERRY TOMATO, OLIVE AND PARSLEY SAUCE
7 ¼ cup olive oil
17.64 oz. red cherry tomatoes, slightly crushed by hand
5.29 oz. black olives
1 clove garlic
1 shallot, diced
¼ cup dry white wine
1.06 oz. Italian parsley, picked and torn
1. Heat olive oil in a 12-inch saucepan over low heat. Add minced onion and garlic and sweat for about 5 minutes. Increase heat to medium, add crushed tomatoes and olives. Season lightly with salt.
2. Deglaze with white wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens slightly and the flavors meld, about 10 minutes.
3. Remove pan from heat, stir in parsley and set aside.
PUMPKIN SEED PARMESAN
14.11 oz. pumpkin seed
7.05 oz. hemp seed
3.53 oz. nutritional yeast
0.49 oz. salt
0.49 oz. garlic powder
0.42 oz. onion powder
2 Tbs. olive oil
1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until powdered. With the machine running slowly, drizzle in the oil until it binds slightly.
2. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Cherry tomato, olive
and parsley sauce
1. Bring a pot of salted (just a pinch) water to a boil. Drop the cavatelli in the boiling water (about 4.41 oz. is a good portion size) and cook for 4 to 5 minutes.
2. Strain the pasta and place into the pan with the sauce. Cook the pasta in the sauce for an additional 2 to 3 minutes.
3. To finish, sprinkle pasta with Parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil. Remove from heat and transfer to a dish. Sprinkle more Parmesan on top and garnish with fresh picked parsley leaves.
Photography by: WONHO FRANKLEE