Mario Batali's Black and White Strichetti with Baccala and Marjoram

Adapted from Mario Batali, The Babbo Cookbook


  • 1 pound of baccala (dried salt cod)
  • 4 tablespoons fresh marjoram leaves
  • 2 cups simple red sauce
  • 1 cup white wine
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 recipe for basic pasta dough
  • 1/2 recipe for black pasta dough
  • 2 scallions, sliced on bias



Step 1: Place the baccala in a bowl and add water to cover. Cover and refrigerate for 48 hours, changing the water at least once daily. This is necessary to rehydrate the fish and remove the saltiness.
Step 2: Drain the cod and pat it dry with paper towels. Break the flesh into small chunks.  
Step 3: In a heavy bottom saucepan, combine the cod, 2 tablespoons marjoram leaves, simple red sauce (I added 1/2 chopped carrot to the onions and garlic  in my simple red sauce to give it a slightly sweet taste), and white wine and mix well with a wooden spoon.
Step 4: Cook over medium-low heat until it has reduced to a thick ragu, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. You can make this up to 2 days in advance. Keep refrigerated.
Step 5:  Divide the white and black pasta dough into 2 equal portions each and roll out each portion in a pasta machine on the thinnest setting. Cut the sheets into 3-inch by 2-inch rectangles, pinching the centers of the rectangles to form bow-tie shapes as you cut. Place the bow ties on a baking sheet and cover with a damp towel until ready to cook.
Step 6: In a 12- to 14-inch saute pan, reheat the cod ragu almost to a boil.
Step 7: Bring about 6 quarts of water to boil and add 2 tablespoons of salt. Drop the strichetti into the boiling water and cook for 1 minute. Drain and add to the ragu.  
Step 8:  Add the scallions and remaining 2 tablespoons of marjoram and toss over high heat for 1 minute. Divide among warm pasta bowls and serve immediately.