Well, hello there!! I know, I lied about when my next post was going to go up.. please forgive me? Pretty, pretty please?
I promise it was worth the wait!
I made the dish for today's post back in the first week of December, when I started my new job at BWE, the greatest wine store on earth. I cooked dinner for 12 people that night and surprisingly remembered to take pictures of pretty much everything. My journey for this dish began the day before the dinner party, when I made the pasta dough.
I'd like to start out by saying that this was, by far, the EASIEST pasta dough that I have ever made and/or worked with. I've tried countless recipes from some of the most famous Italian chefs, and never has it worked this well. Leave it to a French-trained chef to finally whip me into shape.
The recipe begins, like all others, by using the "well method," making a ring of flour and filling the middle with eggs, olive oil and a bit of milk. Here's a pic:
Then, you gradually incorporated the flour into the ingredients in the center, very slowly to avoid clumping, until it looks like this:
Then, the needing begins. And goes. And goes. And goes. Until you pretty much have a sprained wrist (no comments please) and the dough looks like this:
I put my dough in the fridge to rest and made the filling next. First, I roasted some sweet potatoes in the oven until they were tender. While they were roasting, I chopped some pancetta:
And sauteed it until the fat was rendered, draining it after on paper towels. Once the potatoes were done, I scraped out the flesh and put it in a pot, adding the pancetta, butter and a bit of nutmeg. Easiest part of the day! Here's the filling:
Now it was time to roll out the dough on my pasta machine. It's a pretty easy process once you get the hang of it. This is what it looked like after the final roll through the second-thinnest setting:
Then, I piped a line of filling down one side of the dough:
Folded the dough over and formed the pasta, cutting the individual pasta with a crimped cutter:
Don't they look cute??? Like little pillows :)
Those bad boys went into the freezer with a bit of cornmeal so that they would be ready to travel up to Williamsburg the next day!
****THE NEXT DAY! (dun, dun duuuuuun!!!)****
The first step once I finished carrying my entire kitchen to Caroline's house was to deep fry the sage for the final presentation. This was very easy and basically just involved some canola oil and frying the sage until crispy:
Then, I made the sage cream sauce by first blanching some more sage leaves, and then adding them in the blender to a heated mixture of creme fraiche and beurre monte. The resulting sauce, once put back in a pan, looked like this:
While my pasta was cooking:
I sliced up some proscuitto di parma:
And made my brown butter by cooking the butter until it was light brown and smelling deliciously nutty (sorry I forgot a picture!!). Then, I tossed the pasta with the sage cream and plated the dish (pasta, then proscuitto, then fried sage and drizzled with the brown butter). It looked beautiful!
And it tasted soooo good!! It was very rich and delicious with so many different textures and just wow. Totally worth the work - I don't think I ever want to eat boxed pasta again.
Next time, another agnolotti dish - just as delicious, not quite as pretty (you'll see!).
PS - Thanks to Ruth for showing me how to use my camera!! You can definitely see the improvements in my pictures as this post goes along.. how lame am I?
PPS - If you are reading... please let me know!! Don't make me beg.