By Christa Glennie Seychew
Traditionally, garganelli is an egg-based pasta, hand- rolled and not dissimilar to penne with its short, tubu- lar shape. Sometimes, garganelli is rolled smooth; other times it’s created using a textured board, which leaves a ridged pattern, allowing sauce to cling. In addition to
its eggy flavor profile, garganelli dough also incorporates freshly
grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and nutmeg.
At Craving, chef and owner, Adam Goetz, serves only hand-
made pasta, and the variety and number of pasta options avail-
able each day varies. Such is the case with the Hertel Avenue
restaurant’s entire menu, since it’s based each day on what its
farm suppliers have available. The flexibility this demands from
the kitchen is extraordinary, and Craving hedges its weather-
sensitive bets by preserving as much of the season as possible
to insure it has a well-stocked pantry at all times. “We have two
small garbage cans in our kitchen and I’d be surprised if we’ve
ever filled both of them more than halfway,” Goetz reports.
“We don’t throw food away here. Not ever.”
Goetz and his team use a different pasta dough for each shape
of pasta they make. “I use a Phillips brand extruder, which is
really meant for home use, but we only do a handful of pastas
that require an extruder; we make most of the pasta a piece at a
time with our hands.” Making one pasta dough (not to mention
many) requires a lot of tweaking and even more comfortabili-
ty with the dough and process than one might imagine. As with
any flour-based recipe, the weather and humidity necessitate
careful and constant adjustment.
When it comes to the garganelli, Craving most often serves
this dish with a dark and sexy ragu made with veal from East
Aurora’s Erbe Verda Farm. Goetz prides himself on getting a
hundred percent yield on the animals he buys in whole from
farmers. In this instance, he’ll roast the veal bones in several ways, which provides him with a freezer full of stocks that
vary ever-so-subtly in flavor. His “stock library,” as he calls it,
may feature any number of veal stocks, like one that’s heavy on
tomatoes, or another that’s more deeply roasted. In addition
to a really good stock, the use of the neck is the tip he’d most
recommend to homecooks: “Most people don’t realize that the
neck is really just so full of flavor.” He also uses shoulder cuts
to make sure the ragu is full of tender pieces of meat.
Due to the labor involved in making this dish, Craving only
offers its Garganelli with Veal Ragu in a small plate portion, but
the buttery lushness of its intense and hearty sauce against the
perfectly toothsome pasta promises any guest a satisfying dining experience.