Thursday, March 13, 2008

Fresh Tagliatelle with Sprouting Broccoli and Oozy Cheese Sauce

For this week's Presto Pasta Night, I bring you a most glorious Jamie Oliver recipe. I went on a binge a few weekends ago and watched all my saved-up cooking shows, and this pasta dish was featured in his episode on eggs. I made sure to do as he asked and used farm-happy eggs in both the pasta and sauce.

Now, the pasta was something of a departure for me. I'd never made it in the food processor before, and I'd never not let it rest for 30 minutes before I rolled it out. I would probably have questioned the instructions, had I not just watched Jamie do it on television. Ya, ya, tv magic is often in play, but if you've seen his episodes, he doesn't appear to use too much trickery. My trust in him, I went forth and processed and didn't wait to roll, and as you can see, the pasta came out nicely. I am converted.

I mentioned a couple days ago that I don't like much cheese. This recipe may then be confusing. But fontina is way lower on the Stinkiness Scale, and it was smooth and creamy and oozy... all things that get me to like cheese better. His method of gently warming the creme fraiche and cheeses over top of the pasta water is pure genius, if you ask me. I put the pot of water on and the pan on top while I made the pasta. I've rarely done all the prep before I start cooking, so it was nice to be able to stage everything as I went.

If you are comforted by a nice, velvety smooth pasta, this could be heaven for you. I was floored by the cheesy aroma wafting from the pasta as I poured the sauce on it. I know I yammered about smells just yesterday and I meant it at the time. But this pasta blows that soup's smell out of the water. I could be kind and just say that they're different (in the way I find both Jack and Charlie hot, but for different reasons). But I would be lying. Or, at least, I wouldn't mean it. The beautiful cheesy smell just appeals to me more. Could have been my mood at the time, or the weather or something, I guess. I enjoyed them both, don't get me wrong. This one just wins. At least it had the baby broccoli as the token vegetable of the evening, so I didn't feel all bad about it. :)

Fresh Tagliatelle with Sprouting Broccoli and Oozy Cheese Sauce
c/o Jamie at Home, Food Network TV,1977,FOOD_9936_120489,00.html

The hero of this dish (apart from the eggs, of course!) is fontina, a delicious Italian mountain cheese used for melting, available in good cheese shops and delis. But any combination of Parmesan, pecorino, taleggio or Gruyere cheeses will also work well.

For the pasta:
4 large free-range or organic eggs
2 cups pasta flour, plus extra for dusting
Sea salt

For the cheese sauce:
1 cup creme fraiche
5 ounces sliced fontina or other nice melting cheese
5 ounces freshly grated Parmesan
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound purple sprouting broccoli
2 large free-range or organic egg yolks
1 small bunch fresh marjoram, oregano or thyme tips, leaves picked

Freshly grated Parmesan, for serving
Extra-virgin olive oil

You can buy ready-made dried or fresh tagliatelle, but this is a really quick way to make your own.

Crack the eggs into a food processor and add the flour. Whiz it up and listen for the sound changing to a rumble - this means the dough is coming together nicely. Turn the power off and test the consistency by pinching the dough. If it's a bit sticky add a little more flour and pulse again.

Tip the dough mixture onto a floured surface and shape it into a ball using your hands. Give it a little knead until smooth, then divide your dough into 4 equal parts. Start on the thickest setting of your pasta machine and run the first bit of dough through 4 or 5 times, moving the rollers closer together each time until the pasta is silky, smooth and about as thick as a CD. Flour your finished sheet generously, then fold it up and cut across into 1/2-inch strips. Gather all the slices together and toss them through your fingers, with a little flour, to open them up and make your pile of tagliatelle. Place to 1 side and repeat with the rest of the dough.

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. In a bowl large enough to rest on top of the pan, put your creme fraiche, fontina or other melting cheese and your Parmesan with a pinch of salt and pepper. Place the bowl over the pan for the cheeses to slowly melt. It won't take long. Meanwhile, trim any dry ends off the broccoli, then finely slice the stalks diagonally and leave the florets whole (cutting any larger ones in half).

At this point the cheese sauce should be lovely and oozy, so remove the bowl from above the pan and drop the pasta and broccoli into the boiling water. Boil hard for 2 to 3 minutes, until the pasta is just cooked through. Whip up the 2 egg yolks and the marjoram, or other chosen herb leaves, into the sauce. Drain the pasta and broccoli, reserving a little of the cooking water, and quickly toss them with the sauce - the heat from the pasta will be enough to cook the eggs through. If the sauce is a little thick, add a few splashes of cooking water to make it silky and loose. Taste and season, if necessary. Serve as quickly as you can, with some extra Parmesan sprinkled over the top and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. Grand!


glamah16 said...

Great combo with the broccoli and creamy cheese.

sher said...

I REALLY love oozy cheese sauce. I'd take that over cake or pie! Looks scrumptious!

Ruth Daniels said...

Jamie Oliver doesn't just make things LOOK easy, he really chooses to do things as simply as possible. My daughter and I use his "no rest" method of pasta making too! And as for the sauce...sounds perfect! Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.

kittie said...

Great tip on the not needing the rest in pasta making - I'll try that out next time!
Probably with a Sprouting Broccoli and Oozy Cheese sauce. ;)

KC said...

Your tagliatelle sounds delicious. I don't care much for cheese because of the smell but I'm going to try fontina.

Jessy and her dog Winnie said...

That looks delicious!

Julie said...

Looks delicious Katie, I love this type of pasta dish.

marios glykas said...

hello from greece you ar the best recipes MARIO DOLCE

LisaRene said...

I'm impressed by anyone who makes their own pasta. This looks wonderful! Jamie is a doll.

Big Boys Oven said...

looks awesome delicious!

Katy said...

i really, really need a pasta machine! and oozy cheese sauce sounds perfect. :-)

Anonymous said...

oooo! this is what i've been looking for. I will try making it tonight :)
looks great, yumm.