Closet Italian

First off apologies for not posting for a while.  Sometime life has a way of dictating priorities.  Last weekend’s Father’s Day festivities was one thing.

I finally have a bike that I can go shopping on and with the wife away for the day it was time to gather the kids and bike downtown to the market.  The local market is not the one I frequent because I think it is a cut below some others but it is the one I can bike to and there is a nice bakery next to it which was how I got the kids to come along.  To me, Italian food has always meant finding the best ingredients and then not getting in the way of them.  Whether or not this is truly Italian I don’t know but it is the type of food I find myself gravitating to time and again.  In the market I found fresh corn which tasted good raw and the first cherry tomatoes of the season (yes, I am a tomato snob).  I realized I could pair these with some more squash blossoms and fresh pasta so I was off to the races.

I haven’t made fresh pasta in a while and have had a bit of an itch for it.  I turned to Mario Batali for my recipe this time.  It was 3 1/2 c flour and 5 eggs though I had market eggs and found I had to add a sixth because it wasn’t coming together.  I started it in the food processor and then kneaded by hand for a few minutes.  You should knead it until it becomes smooth.  Not sure how else to describe it.  After a rest I enlisted the kids to turn the pasta machine as I fed the dough through.  I cut the dough into sheets and let it dry a bit with plenty of flour and semolina on hand.

I’ve had limited success with pasta cutters so I am more inclined to just use a knife.  I decided the right shape was something around tagliatelle.  I folded the sheets a few times and sliced.

“Recipe”

Handful of herbs from the garden (primarily tarragon with sprig parsley and chives) chopped
Two handfuls cherry tomatoes halved
Three cobs cooked fresh corn sliced off cob and cob “milked”
Splash of the white wine you are drinking
Ten squash blossoms halved
Garlic clove smashed
About 1/2 lb fresh pasta made with kid help
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a skillet over fairly high heat.  Once hot add the oil and add the crushed garlic cooking until fragrant.  Add the tomatoes and cook until the juices are have cooked off.  Add that splash of wine and then the corn.  To milk the corn just run the dull side of the knife down the cut corn cob.  This will release yummy juice that should not be wasted.  Throw this in with the tomatoes.  Throw the blossom halves in and cook until slightly wilted.  Then add the pasta which has just now gotten to the al dente stage being a little sloppy and adding lots of pasta water and making sure the skillet is still hot.  Hit it with the herbs.  Toss and eat, I mean serve.  You can add some freshly grated cheese and drink some nice wine too, of course.

Afraid you can’t see the blossoms real well but they were a tasty addition and the pasta got an official “Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm” from the kids which is about as high a score as is possible.  This was good, I highly recommend tarragon + corn + tomato somehow.

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9 Comments

Filed under Cooking, Family, Food

9 responses to “Closet Italian

  1. That looks amazing. I love the idea of milking the cob. Your fresh pasta looks wonderful as do the seasonal ingredients. I don’t make my own pasta often, but really need to make raviolis.

    • I have to say this really hit the spot. I don’t mind the dry pasta but I have to say for something delicate like cherry tomatoes and corn the fresh pasta added quite a bit. It is a process but hopefully one the kids will remember as they grow up :)!

      • I make pasta so often on weeknights that I used the dried almost all of the time. Bad Italian of me! Maybe my wife will get me that KitchenAid attachment…

      • I have used the KitchenAid attachment and have to say it works pretty darn well and speeds up the process. My son and daughter like to turn the crank of my old Pasta Queen and I can’t quite bear the thought of not involving them.

  2. This looks amazing!
    I loved the idea of milking the cob..and using the blossoms two..
    I really need to get try making fresh pasta..it looks like I am messing ALOT

  3. This looks amazing and pretty healthy as well. I used to make fresh pasta with my Grandma, but haven’t attempted it in years. You make it look pretty easy…and delicious. Hope all is well.

  4. I am so happy you have come out of the closet 🙂
    This recipe sounds fabulous!

  5. This looks beautiful! My homemade pasta sometimes turns out a little “stickier” than I’d prefer and slicing my tagliatelli gets tricky – maybe I’ll try Mario’s recipe above next time. Love the squash blossom addition!

  6. This looks so good! I’ve been wanting to use corn with pasta and now I know what I’ll be making.

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