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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Fresh Pasta is King

Fresh pasta is king in my world, the textural chew puts dry pasta to shame. Don't get me wrong dry pasta can be delicious, but if I had to choose between the two I would choose fresh every day of the week. The recipe I use comes from "The French Laundry Cookbook", thank you Chef Keller. The pasta dough itself is very high in percentage of egg yolks, which adds a great richness and a gorgeous golden hue. 

8 oz Flour, 6 egg yolk, 1 egg, 1 TB milk, 1 1/2 tsp olive oil

To start the dough pour your flour out onto your cutting board and make a well. Add the remaining ingredients and mix (I like to use a fork) the wet ingredients together slowly incorporating some flour. Do not break the well!!! If you do the egg mixture will spill out and make a massive mess. Once all of the flour is incorporated the kneading begins...

If you want to knead the dough by hand it will be very laborious and time consuming, so I opted for using my Stand Mixer. Once the dough developed enough gluten, this is what gives the pasta it's chew, I let it rest overnight before rolling the dough hand.

I do not have a pasta machine.....I should get one. Rolling out pasta by hand is not custom anymore, but I had to work with what I had. I used a rolling pin and rolled out the dough as thin as possible and then squared it off and cut some pappardelle.

To cook the pasta bring a gallon of water to boil and season HEAVILY with salt, you want the water to taste like the ocean. This is the only chance to season the pasta in the inside. Cook for about 2-3 minutes until the pasta is almost al dente. Strain the pasta and put it in the sauce you made for a minute or two, make sure you throw some of that starchy pasta liquid into your sauce! The sauce I used today consisted of sweated onion and garlic, reduced chicken stock, lemon, butter, salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese. I garnished the pasta with some seasoned ricotta and that was it. Simple food done great really cannot be beat. What a success this was, I will be making this more often.

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