Thursday, June 30, 2011

Homemade Tagliatelle with Green Olive Sauce

I don't eat much pasta. I love it but it's one of those things I can easily do without, like bread. Maybe it's because it's so often underwhelming. Not much flavor other than gummy bread. Or maybe it's because I first thought I was "cooking" when I doctored pasta from a jar. The boyfriend and I would cook some chicken in a skillet, maybe add some red pepper flakes to the jarred sauce and TA DA! We cooked! I'm not trying to be condescending to anyone who makes and eats that kind of pasta, I still savor it when I have it on that rare occasion, but the stuff that really gets me going is homemade pasta. Pasta with eggs. Pasta with flour, eggs and little else. It's a real treat.

My first time making and maybe even eating homemade, fresh pasta was a Daring Baker's challenge for Lasagna. We had to finely chop a giant pile of spinach and knead it into the pasta dough. It took forever. My wrists hurt. Then it had to rest (as did I). Next up- rolling the dough out until it was thin enough to see through- no easy task- especially on a wooden kitchen table. This time around, the dough comes together in a food processor and there is no kneading required. Just give the dough some time to sit. Rolling the dough still isn't a piece of cake, unless you are equipped, but a marble counter top certainly helps.

Just a few minutes in some boiling water and you've got yourself something to write home about.

Crunch, crunch, yum

Homemade Tagliatelle with Green Olive Sauce
Inspired and Adapted from 101 Cookbooks and The Minimalist
Serves 4

For the pasta:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt, plus more as needed
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 whole eggs

For the sauce:
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tblsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 2/3 cup green olives, pitted and chopped
  • fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts

In a food processor, pulse together the flour and salt. Add the eggs and pulse until a ball starts to form. If the dough is too grainy, add a few drops of cold water. If the dough is too sticky, add a tablespoon of flour. Turn out the dough onto a floured counter. Roll into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Let the dough sit for 30min - 1 hour on the counter or up to 24 hours in the fridge.

Meanwhile in a large skillet, saute the garlic and onion in olive oil until tender. Add the broth and cream and bring it to a simmer. Remove from heat and add the olives. Let the mixture cool for a few minutes and then blend either with a handheld blender or a blender. Add lemon juice to taste and keep the sauce warm. In a small dry skillet, toast the pine nuts until fragrant and golden. Do not take your eyes off them!

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once the dough is rested, cut it in half and roll the dough out as thin as you can manage without driving yourself crazy. Cut into 1/2 inch strips and add to boiling for 2-3 minutes. Drain the water, reserving 1/2 cup. If the sauce is too thick, add some of the pasta water. Once the sauce is as you like it, add the pasta and swirl around for a minute or two. Serve topped with toasted pine nuts and if you need it, Parmesan.

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