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Tagliatelle Fresche and Fresh-Baked Bread

It’s another Saturday and I came home to another feast!  Homemade pasta and homemade bread.  It just doesn’t get any better!

The pasta was Victor’s famous tagliatelle.  The bread was from James Beard.

The pasta is so light but so full of flavor and texture.  It can withstand any type of sauce, but I just love it when Victor grabs whatever out of the ‘fridge and creates!  Tonight he took olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes in oil, oyster mushrooms, bell pepper, peas, and prosciutto, sauteed it all and then stirred in the cooked pasta and sprinkled some freshly-grated cheese on top.

Did I mention perfection?!?

Perfection.

This is a half-batch of the pasta recipe.

Tagliatelle Fresche

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • Coarse sea salt

Instructions

On a clean work surface, mound flour and form a well in the center. Add egg and egg yolk to the well. Using a fork, gently break up yolks and slowly incorporate flour from inside rim of well. Continue until liquid is absorbed, then knead for 10 minutes. Wrap dough tightly in plastic and let rest for 30 minutes.

Divide dough into 3 pieces. Cover 2 pieces with plastic wrap. Flatten remaining dough piece so that it will fit through the rollers of a pasta machine.

Set rollers of pasta machine at the widest setting, then feed pasta through rollers 3 or 4 times, folding and turning pasta until it is smooth and the width of the machine.

Roll pasta through machine, decreasing the setting, one notch at a time (do not fold or turn pasta), until pasta sheet is scant 1/16 inch thick.

Cut sheet in half widthwise; dust both sides of sheets with flour. Layer sheets between floured pieces of parchment or wax paper. Cover with paper and repeat with remaining dough.

With the short end of 1 pasta sheet facing you, loosely fold up sheet, folding sheet over two or three times from short ends toward the center. With a large chefs knife, cut folded sheet into ribbons, a scant 1/4 inch wide. Unroll strips and lightly dust with flour; spread on a lightly floured baking sheet. Repeat with remaining pasta sheets.

To cook the tagliatelle, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Drain pasta, transfer to a large serving bowl and toss with sauce.

And then, just because perfect pasta wasn’t enough, he made a loaf of one of my favoriote breads!

This comes from the Beard on Bread cook book by James Beard.  It’s quick and reasonably difficult to screw up!

James Beard French-Style Bread

  • 1 1/2 pk active dry yeast
  • 1  tbsp  sugar
  • 2 cups  warm water (100-115 deg.)
  • 1 tbsp  salt
  • 5-6 cups all-purpose or hard wheat flour
  • 3 tbsp  Yellow cornmeal
  • 1 egg white mixed with 1 tbsp cold water

Combine the yeast with sugar and warm water in a large bowl and allow to proof. Mix the salt with the flour and add to the yeast mixture, a cup at a time, until you have a stiff dough.

Remove to a lightly floured board and knead until no longer sticky, about 10 minutes, adding flour as necessary.

Place in a buttered bowl and turn to coat the surface with butter.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk..1 1/2-2 hrs.

Punch down the dough. Turn out on a floured board and shape into two long, French bread-style loaves. Place on a baking sheet that has been sprinkled with the cornmeal, but NOT buttered.

Slash the tops of the loaves diagonally in two or three places with a single edge razor blade or sharp knife, brush the loaves with the egg white wash.

Place in a COLD oven, set the temperature at 400° and bake 35 minutes, or until well browned and hollow sounding when the tops are tapped.

The meal was perfection all the way.

 

 

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