If the flavor profile here looks suspiciously similar to my last post (lemon + rosemary + a carby canvas) then you got me. Even though it's officially spring I'm not ready to let go of cold weather fare. Reason #1: the good spring things (rhubarb, peas, morels) have yet to hit the farmer's markets. And reason #2: buttery noodles know no season.
Have you ever been out to dinner with a small child and been super envious when their noodles and butter arrive? You probably ordered something way soigné with lots of color and delicate portions. But you don't care. You just want that pasta and maybe a little cheese to sprinkle on top. We've all been there. Such an episode inspired me to make this pasta last weekend. The lemon and herbs and general effort level though I'd say sufficiently adultify it.
I use Alice Waters' pasta dough recipe from The Art of Simple Food as the foundation for all my experiments. It's so simple you'll commit it to memory after your first go. The only adaptation I made here was to add the lemon zest.
- 2 cups flour
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- Zest of 2 lemons
- In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment combine all ingredients on low speed until dough comes together, about 1 minute. Dough should be slightly crumbly. Use you hands to test shaping it into a ball. If dough does not come together add a teaspoon of water and mix until combined. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead a few times into a disc shape. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for one hour.
- Unwrap dough and cut into four equal pieces. Use your hands to flatten each into a thin-ish rectangle.
- Using a pasta maker, roll dough into thin sheets. I have the KitchenAid attachments and rolled to setting 5.
- Flour sheets on both sides and cut in half. Each half will be the length of your noodles.
- Roll half sheets up just as you'd roll up a carpet. Using a sharp knife cut noodles at once inch intervals. This is the width for a pappardelle but you could make your noodles wider or more narrow.
- Unroll the noodles, lay out lengthwise, and dust with flour again.
- Spin noodles into a nest and set aside until ready to cook.
- A hunk of 1 or 2 day old crusty bread, cut into small cubes (if you're starting with fresh bread you can cut into cubes and dry out in an oven on low heat)
- 2 Tbs butter
- 2 cloves fresh garlic, peeled
- 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
- Sea salt
- Place bread cubes in a gallon ziplock bag and lay flat on a cutting board with a dish towel spread on top.
- Using a rolling pin, crush bread cubes into craggy crumbs. It's okay if some are smithereens and some are larger.
- When you're ready to toast your breadcrumbs prepare a plate lined with a paper towel.
- Place butter, rosemary, and garlic in a sauté pan and heat until butter has melted. Reduce heat to very low and allow flavors to infuse for five minutes or so. Take care not to let the butter burn.
- Add breadcrumbs to sauté pan and toast over medium heat until breadcrumbs are nicely browned. Immediately transfer breadcrumbs to plate with paper towel and allow to drain and cool. Discard rosemary and garlic and sprinkle with sea salt.
To serve, cook pasta in salted boiling water for 5-6 minutes until al dente. Toss hot pasta with equal parts melted butter and lemon juice (about 1 Tbs of each per pasta serving). Garnish with breadcrumbs and cracked pepper. Serve immediately.
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