Sunday, March 04, 2007

The new Yummiest Pasta Ever

So, remember our garlic prawn pasta invention that we dubbed "The Yummiest Pasta Ever"? Well, Darryl and I created something last night that we absolutely have to make some Wednesday soon, 'cause I think you'll agree that it's an even more delicious version of that legendary pasta dish. I guess it's all the butter and garlic, and wine and cheese. And, the fact that we made the pasta from scratch! So exciting, and it only takes about an hour to make the whole dish, with salad too (with Darryl's Pear Splash, not dressing as I was informed).

We paired the food with an Pinot Gris from Alsace which I had tried in class and loved. It has pear, honey, and apricot notes, and a smooth, rich mouthfeel – yum!

For the salad, we shaved fennel with the mandolin, and added that to mixed greens. I'd never had a pear salad dressing before, so I was really excited about the recipe Darryl decided to reinvent from his days in the kitchen at a fancy West-coast-style restaurant in Sidney. I guess the silly Pear Splash title kind of works, since it was super cool and refreshing. Here's what's in it:

fresh ripe pears
apple juice
apple-cider vinegar
olive oil
maple syrup
white wine

puree all ingredients in the blender, to taste

And the pasta recipe:

2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
6 egg yolks
2 tbsp olive oil
4–6 tbsp water

1. On a large work surface, heap flour into a mound; make a well in the center and sprinkle with salt. Put egg yolks and oil into well. With fingertips, mix yolk mixture into flour (just like I saw them do on Iron Chef! It's fun!). Sprinkle with water and mix until it forms a ball. Knead until dough feels smooth (it will look bumpy but feel smooth), about 10 minutes. Flatten dough into a disk; wrap in plastic wrap. Chill 20 minutes.
2. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 1/16-inch-thick circle. (If it's difficult to roll, cover and let rest 10 minutes). Make sure it's really this thin – I gave up when it was still a bit thicker, and the noodles were really thick! Dust top of pasta circle lightly with flour, then roll it up like a jelly roll. Cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips. Unroll and separate strips. Let stand about 5 minutes to dry slightly before cooking.

We had it with chicken, pancetta, and asparagus in a white wine, garlic, butter and romano cheese sauce. Rich rich goodness, mmmm.


Leeeeesha said...

Oh my, that looks amazing!

I'd definitely be into trying the pasta-from-scratch thing on a Wednesday night soon. I've seen Jamie Oliver do it many many times and it does always look really simple - though I've learned that looks can be quite deceiving when watching professional chefs at work.

Meg said...

It is really easy! But I was just talking to my sister on the phone and she laughed at me for not using semolina flour. Somehow I had forgotten all about that... But apparently it's much better with it, so when we do make it, let's use semolina! And we can take turns with the rolling pin so that the noodles won't suffer from my laziness.

Laura said...

Jamie has impressed me with his pasta-making skills too - especially in that ep where he goes up against the Italian grannies to make the largest rolled-out pasta sheet. That takes some chutzpah.

We should definitely do it! Meg, yours looks gorgeous, too thick or not. I love that one orangey egg yolk, and the photo of the strips of fettucine laid out on the counter. And the wine looks yummy too! But are we ever going to make gnocchi?