Monday, November 30, 2009

Il Quadrato di Pasta con gli Funghi Marsala e Cappasanta

Last night I was able to make homemade pasta!

In class it was so simple that I purchased a pasta maker.
Chef taught us how to bring the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Chef says the texture of the dough should feel like pleather. I don't feel that on a regular basis, but once you feel the pasta, youll understand the reference. We also sheeted the pasta in the machine, and Chef taught us the french translation of that action is nous sheeton (say it out loud, go ahead... ok thats not really the french translation, but it sounded good). We made squid ink ravioli with goat cheese and herb filling and a butternut squash sauce, orange and black in honor of Halloween.

When I tried a few weeks ago my dough seemed way too wet and I had to add a lot of extra flour to the recipe. When  I rolled it out, the dough broke, it almost looked like there were air bubbles in my dough. I thought the flour wasn't a big deal, but apparently I had the wrong kind.
When I tried again last night I used 00 Italian Flour (which I got at Giolitti's in Annapolis). The dough came out perfectly.
The chorus of mmmms coming from the diners suggested a successful recipe...

Il Quadrato di Pasta con gli Funghi Marsala e Cappasanta (Pasta Squares with Mushroom Marsala and Scallops)

Photo by Robin

Pasta Dough:
1 cup 00 Italian Flour
2 large eggs
pinch of salt
1tsp olive oil

Drop the flour on the counter and make a well in the center. Put all of the other ingredients into the well and then take a fork to gently break the egg yolks. Starting from the top edges and working into the center, use the fork to fold the dry ingredients into the wet. Continue mixing with the fork until dough forms a mass. Use your hands to knead the dough, adding flour until the dough no longer feels sticky when you kneed it. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for 20-30min. Meanwhile start the sauce...

Put a pot of water on to boil.

Funghi Marsala:
1lb mixed fresh mushrooms
2oz dried mushrooms (something with a lot of flavor)
2tbsp butter
1tsp olive oil
1 med shallot
1 bag baby spinach
3cups chicken broth (homemade is really best here) NO SALT ADDED
1cup sweet marsala wine
1 pinch fresh tarragon
2-4 fresh sage leaves (I used 4 small ones)
1 clove garlic, smashed
salt and pepper to taste

Put your dried mushrooms in a container and add 1cup of hot water over them to let them rehydrate, stir once in a while.
Melt butter and oil in a skillet. Sautee mushrooms with a pinch of salt until almost cooked. push the mushrooms aside and add garlic clove and minced shallots to the pan (add more butter or oil if necessary so they dont burn). When shallot begins to look translucent reincorporate with mushrooms. Add Tarragon and Sage.
Add 1 cup chicken broth and allow to reduce au sec (till the pan is nearly dry). Then add 1/2 of the wine and allow to reduce again, until au sec.
Add enough chicken broth to allow the spinach to cook down, about 1.5 cups, and the water from the dried mushrooms. Be sure to add salt and pepper over the spinach while it is still dry so that it will season the leaves.
Add more chicken broth and marsala to taste.

After you make the sauce it can sit on a very low simmer until you are ready for it.

Sheet the pasta and cut it into your desired shape.

Be sure your Scallops are dry. I let mine sit on some paper towels for about 5min, flipped and let sit again. Salt and pepper both sides. In a hot skillet with a thin coating of oil, sear the scallops on both sides. Do not flip the scallops if they dont want to be flipped, tilt the pan to move the oil around if you are afraid they might be burning. When they are the correct amount of brown they will release from the bottom of the pan and you will easily be able to flip them.

Let the scallops rest for a minute while you finish your pasta. The pasta should take about 4min to cook. Warm up the sauce, check seasoning, add pasta, enjoy!

Shhh.... don't tell any real italians but I actually served the seafood with fresh grated parmigiano.

I also made some fresh garlic bread which I coated in cheese and put under the broiler.

Next time I make this I may try adding a touch of champagne vinegar or something similar to the sauce. When I tried to cut the sweetness of the wine with chicken broth, it became too watered down no matter how little broth I added. I think a little vinegar reduction would heighten the flavors. I had considered anchovies and decided against it to be safe, but I might try that too. Porcini powder might also be a nice addition to strengthen the mushroom flavor.

This dish would also be great with a crisp caesar salad.


Shari said...

What beautiful results you got! This dish looks absolutely divine!

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Pat Robinson said...

Nice and mouth watering stuff. Thanks for sharing.