Tuesday, September 7, 2010

fresh pasta, broad beans.

Today's supper is a collaborative effort; LW and me. We have only owned a pasta-machine for the last year or so, so we did think that it was high time we actually used it for something. Even though, as a decorative object, it has much to recommend it.

So we bought Durum wheat flour (a bit expensive; we'll try a good plain flour next time), and off we went. 4 eggs  a pinch of salt and 400g flour in a food processor for a few seconds.

A crumb texture is reached, and, if the recipes we were looking at are to be believed, that's what we want. However, attempts at kneading the mixture to a dough were unspectacular,

and after a few drops of milk were added to loosen the mixture up a bit, we put the whole lot on the Kitchen-Aid, and used the dough hook to do the job. It worked. Then the bowl came loose and we nearly lost the lot. It was very funny at the time, and it'll probably become one of those seminal scenes in a Woody Allen film, but, really, you had to be there.

We ran the dough in small pieces through the pasta machine, and lo! It started looking remarkably like the real thing. In fact, it's really good fun, and I recommend anyone to try their hand at it (but 2 people definitely is better than one for the 1st attempt, I think).

Now the tagliatelle is drying on the clothes pulley and waiting for me to make a sauce.

We have had some broad beans growing over the winter, adding some nitrogen to the soil, and maybe even making us some food. There didn't seem to be a lot of pods, but the winter's been a bit cold and damp, so that's not unreasonable. So we picked them all today, and there was a much bigger crop than anticipated.

They'd all been hiding. Excellent! There was also a wee hidden surprise! A clutch of duck eggs! We knew that the females were going off somewhere to lay eggs, but we couldn't find them. And yet, there they were, hidden in the densest bush of beans.

So the beans are now in a pan with some butter (well, lots of butter) a little water, salt, pepper and garlic.

They will simmer for about 20 min, until only the butter and none of the water remains. Meanwhile the pasta needs a scant 3 minutes to cook:
and the dish is ready:

So. It was wonderful: I know it's a cliche these days of cooking programmes and celebrity chefs to say that all you need is good-quality ingredients, prepared simply and in season, but, in this case it's true! Only 2.5 hrs preparation time and 17 seconds to wolf down. Yum.