Tuesday, October 10, 2006

A Gastronomic Selah


Still giddy from all the foodie merriment we engaged in over the past weeks, I needed some respite from the overload of gastronomic pursuits and preoccupations to be had during Good Food Month. Yes, believe it or not, it is possible to have too much food or moreso food events on your plate. You know you need sound rest when deciding the fate of recently purchased asparagus becomes all too much. Whichever part of my brain it is that’s responsible for processing gastronomic functions like spawning recipe ideas or devising flavour combinations, i've somehow worn it out through an excess of culinary stimulation.

It’s only been a week and a half of GFM and my brain is fried, I’m such a lightweight. Whichever part of my brain that is, I’m sorry for working you too hard. I realise that in order for me to last this month of good food, I require the endurance of a marathon runner. And to think I still have a bread class, an ice cream class, sugar hits, outdoor festivities and not to mention
Tetsuya’s before the end of this month, I really need to pace myself. I will not forgive myself for over-exhaustion during the month of October, it’s just not allowed. It would be like Santa getting sick during Christmas, it would be utterly catastrophic.

So in order to wisely control my over zealous food-related mania, a pause is required; a selah from the frezied mess that is my mind. I needed some time to just recline into a sort of thoughtlessness and not think about what to cook or where to eat nest. So I decidedly went through my photo archives to find some recipes that I have accidentally failed to post. Here is a pasta experiment conducted a few weeks ago when I had an overabundance of sage in my usually meagre herb stockpile. I had by accident bought one too many bunches of sage and didn’t know what to do with it all. So I have learned that when endowed with lots of sage and lots of time, make yourself some Sage Pasta.

Sage Pasta Recipe

Sage Fettucine (uncooked)

250g “00” Italian pasta flour
2 large, free-range eggs
1 egg yolk (reserve the white, just in case dough is a little dry)
1 tablespoon sage, finely chopped

Using a mezzaluna, chop the sage leaves into fine pieces.
Place flour, eggs, yolk and sage into a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse grains.
Using a spatula, scoop out the mixture onto a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough comes together in a smooth ball. Continue to knead for another 2-3 minutes.
Shape dough into a ball and wrap in clear plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

When dough has been chilled shape pasta into desired shapes, either using a pasta machine or a sharp knife or pizza cutter.

NOTE: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again it is crucial to use the freshest eggs, preferably organic free-range, as this will affect the overall taste and texture of your pasta. Also if possible, use “00” flour as they are especially milled for pastas and contain the proper amount of gluten to attain the desired dexterity for your dough.

Sage Pasta Dough

To cook the pasta:
Bring 2 litres of salted water to a rolling boil and drop pasta carefully into the water.
Cook for 1-2minutes, depending on how thick your pasta is.
Be careful not to overcook pasta. Fresh pasta cooks almost immediately.
Drain pasta through a strainer.
Add sauce.

NOTE: I found that once cooked the flecks of sage throughout the pasta looked duller, although you will still be able to taste it.

Zucchini and Burnt Sage Butter Sauce

Sage Fettucine with Zucchini

2 zucchinis, diced
1 tbsp unsalted butter, plus 50g unsalted butter
5 sage leaves
1 tbsp lemon juice
sea salt and cracked pepper

In a large saucepan over high heat, quickly fry zucchinis in some butter until they turn golden brown. Set aside
In another saucepan, add 50g butter over high heat and fry until butter begins to foam.
Add sage leaves and lemon juice. Pour sauce immediately over zucchini and mix.
Season with salt and pepper.


wheresmymind said...

I spent HOURS making fresh pasta on Sunday (even bought a new pasta maker)...this recipe would've rocked *pout* Next time...as I LOVE sage

Brilynn said...

Homemade pasta is just soooo much better than store bought, this looks like a delicious meal!

Anita said...

I'm envious of all the fun you have awaiting you this month - but you're right, you need to pace yourself and not burn out! That being said, I'm in awe of what you've managed to create just "off-the-cuff". Yummy!

aria said...

wow wow look at that perfect pasta! this inspires me to actually *use* my pasta machine. i've been so lazy this looks extra delicious!

Nicky said...

I prepared black pepper pasta recently, but sage pasta sounds like another delicious variation, since I love to eat my pasta in browned sage butter. Which would result in a "double sage pasta"... ;)

jules said...

good to hear you're making the most of good food month..I've been very slack myself...

Love the pasta pics...glad I recently got my pasta machine out of retirement

Julia said...

glad you posted it - this pasta look delicious! yum!
I just got a new pasta machine and didn't know what to make first with it - well, you’ve solved my problem!! tnx! ;)

noƩmie said...

Jen, you're amazing!! I simply love sage and the photos are beautiful. I have never made pasta by myself but I will try when I'll have the time. This recipe looks so delicious that i will save it to make it later.

bea at La Tartine Gourmande said...

Simply delicious Jenjen, loving everything about it

Ange said...

Looks delicious, all my attempts at fresh pasta so far have failed but maybe thats because I am too adventurous & always try a filled pasta, perhaps Ineed to try something more along the lines of this...

Geraldine said...

Wow, this sounds like my kind of dinner!!! Yumm.....

Jasmine said...

Pasta-making is something I've never tried. I must admit I'm a little hesitant because I remember my mum trying it and the results were spectacularly bad...but your photos are making me think about trying it...


Meeta said...

Jen!! This really looks gorgeous! Thank you for taking part in the Monthly Mingle with this dish.

Mae said...

This looks so fresh and tasty. Gotta get me a pasta machine...

Kalyn said...

It does look just fabulous! Your photos are great.

jenjen said...

wheresmymind- Aren't pasta makers just the best? I could happily spend hours making pasta every weekend.

Brilynn- Making your own is definitely rewarding, although I still do love dried pasta as there are some sauces that won't do well with fresh pasta. But making your own is sure fun!

Anita- Thanks so much. Last week was a full week of food, however this week is looking a little less full as that we just came back from a weekend away. It's nice to have a break.

Aria- Oh I urge you, you need to have a go on your pasta machine, you won't regret it! Promise.

Nicky- I also LOVE sage, and sage butter has to one of my favourite sage things. Even with all the sage in this recipe it wasn't overpowering at all, which is a great thing : )

Jules- I will be looking forward to seeing some of your very own pasta on your blog.

And don't worry, after our weekend away, GFM has been the last thing on my mind.

Julie- I'm so glad to hear that you got yourself a pasta machine. It's a rewarding thing and such a handy tool to have in any kitchen. Can't wait to see what creations you come up with.

Noemie- Thanks, if you like sage then you will really enjoy this one.

Bea- Thanks so much!!! Hope you're enjoying your time back home.

Ange- I think once you get the hang of flat pasta, you should be on your way to making filled pasta in no time. It's definitely a skill that needs to developed. I know I am far from being a pasta- making expert. But the more practice you get, the better.

Geraldine- For either lunch or dinner, it would be the perfect thing!

Jasmine- Even if just once, I highly recommend pasta-making. It's actually sort of therapeutic, even if they turn out dismally.

Meeta- No, thank you for allowing me to be part of your mingle!

Mae- You should put it on your Cristmas wish list. They are one of the best kitchen playthings!

Kalyn- Thanks so much : )