It is Hallowe’en, so (despite your groans) I guess I didn’t have much of a choice. Really, though, this is more treats than tricks! Remember last time I promised to share that pasta dish? Mmmmm…
I’ve made it twice now, and I think I’m pretty close. Its easy, and pretty fast. The hardest part is slicing the baby zucchini thin thin thin. I did it on a mandoline… is that cheating? I think not.
I chose to make the pasta itself. You can, but you certainly don’t have to! If you want to, though, it is almost ridiculously easy. Here’s the deal:
Easy Egg Pasta
per person (roughly)
1 C white flour (bread flour is fine)
a little water if needed
Put the flour in a large deep bowl. Make a “well” and carefully crack the eggs into it (no shells please!). Beat the eggs and add in the flour until it forms a dough. Add water if needed to incorporate all the flour. Turn out onto a floured board and knead for as long as you can stand it (for me that’s about 5 minutes, some days even less), adding flour if it is too sticky. The dough should be sort of shiny and tight but malleable. Flatten it a bit, then wrap it in plastic and let it sit on the counter (not in the fridge) for at least an hour before trying to shape.
You can roll and cut this dough to make something akin to fettucini, or you can use store bought fettucini – I won’t hold it against you in the least! Either way, here’s what I did to recreate the pasta with almonds that I soooo enjoyed at the RossoPomodoro in Venice.
The only (slightly) tricky part is getting the pasta and the “sauce” done at the same time. If you have to choose, err on the side of letting the sauce wait for the pasta. Trust me.
So, here we go:
Pasta A(lmonds) to Z(ucchini)
2 small shallots, peeled and sliced quite thin
1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped fine
1/2 C or so mushrooms of choice, chopped
2-3 small zucchini, sliced paper thin
1/2 C Marcona almonds, roughly chopped
a good handful of Italian flatleaf parsley, chopped
caciocavallo cheese, thin sliced
Sautée the shallots and chopped garlic in a very generous amount of olive oil. Do not brown, this is more like almost poaching them this time. When the shallots are quite limp and translucent, add the mushrooms. Once the mushrooms are cooked through, (and the pasta is almost ready, right?) add the zucchini and stir gently. The zucchini will cook almost immediately. Remove from heat and add the chopped almonds. If you can’t find Marcona almonds you can certainly use chopped “regular” almonds, just toast them a bit.
Since the pasta is ready now (right?), drain it and put about half of it in your serving bowl. Add about half of the “sauce”. Cover with thin sliced cheese and toss in some parsley. Repeat, and gently toss it all together. Add more cheese or offer it at the table if you like. (I like!)
See (she said again), easy!!
This goes down easy with a nice red wine, a green salad, and good friends, in Venice or in your city of choice. Mmmm… And, you could certainly make this with GF pasta, no harm in that either – play with your food, I say!
Safe and Happy Hallowe’en, and buon appetito!