Friday, May 17, 2013

IHCC: Use your Noodle!

Now, pasta. There's a theme after my own heart, one of my favorite subjects. Mostly I have to stop myself from planning a pasta dinner for every night of the week. Searching the web, I found Saffron Tagliatelle with Spiced Butter (reportedly from Plenty). This not only looked good but also contributes to my 2013 kitchen goal of making pasta from scratch at least once a month.

The saffron pasta itself is very nice. I didn't really follow the instructions for making this all that closely, since I'm fairly comfortable making long skinny pastas now. I mixed the dough by hand in a bowl rather than with the food processor, since that's fairly easy to do and involves much less cleanup. Also, I found the direction to roll out the dough before running it through the pasta machine a bit odd. I just flatten mine a bit between my hands and let the machine do the work. That's what it's for, isn't it?

A half recipe of the dough calls for quite a bit more flour that I usually use for pasta-for-two, but the extra flour goes with the saffron-soaking water. I overlooked the turmeric addition and expect this would have deepened the lovely saffron-gold color of the noodles, with the flavor washed out in the boiling. The resulting dough was nice and workable.

Ottolenghi instructs you to roll the pasta out to the thinnest setting (typically 7). Most pasta instructors say that 6 is more than sufficient. When I first started pasta-making I found 7 very difficult to achieve. With experience, I can do this now, but generally don't like pasta rolled that thin. Lately I've been liking pasta with a bit more chew, so I rolled this batch only to 5, making it a bit thicker than normal. The cut pasta is quite pretty, golden in color with the saffron threads still visible. (Sorry the color is lost with the indoor lighting.)

To make the spiced butter sauce you simmer four minced shallots in eight tablespoons butter and two tablespoons olive oil. When the shallots are very soft and the butter begins to brown, stir in the spices, ginger, paprika, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne, chili flakes, and turmeric, with some salt and pepper. Toss this with the cooked pasta and serve topped with a mixture of toasted pine nuts, mint, and parsley, all roughly chopped.

The result was a nicely tingly and quite tasty; the topping was a nice addition. But the spiced butter sauce for the pasta was way too fat for our tastes. I used only six tablespoons butter where eight were asked since that's what was left in the butter dish and I was too lazy to get out more (also I was already suspecting this dish was heavy on the fat side). I think that two tablespoons each of butter and oil would be more than enough here. 

This post is shared with this week's I Heart Cooking Clubs.

1 comment:

  1. I am always so impressed with homemade pasta to begin with! ;-) The pasta is lovely--so pretty and golden and I love all of the herbs in the sauce. I definitely would have cut back on the oil and butter too--most recipes do seem to have more than they need!