Hi all, it’s a bit late but happy new year and I hope everyone is doing good. December has been a huge blur, chaos in the kitchen at work as you could imagine and last minute Christmas shopping. I have had no time whatsoever to blog until now, in this post I will be flaunting some fresh pasta made with free range eggs from my garden hens. Before Christmas I bought three gorgeous hens to take care of in return for their fantastic eggs. It is a simple dish of fettuccine al burro, al burro meaning with butter, very basic but the quality of the ingredients makes it something else. I have pretty much survived the whole month on hand made pasta, making huge batches at a time in different varieties to last me a few days, it has been a treat indeed.
Chickens don’t really take much looking after and to be honest I like them as pets, they are such characters its hard not to giggle at some of their antics such as sneaking in the kitchen when I left the door open and releiving themselves allover the floor, ok I didn’t giggle at that but usually they are a laugh. It feels good knowing they aren’t in one of those horrible battery farms you hear about, makes me feel sick thinking about them, with that said I was watching a Jamie Oliver program the other day and apparently more and more people are going free range so that’s a good thing.
Anyway here is the dish (serves 2). You will need:
- 250g tipo 00 flour
- 2 free range eggs plus 1 yolk
- A glug of olive oil
- 1tbsn roasted garlic butter
- 1tbsn good chicken stock paste or cube, I like the knorr commercial variety.
- A handful of grated parmesan (optional)
- Salt and cracked black pepper.
Start by making your pasta dough as we have done many times before, in a mixing bowl add the flour and make a well in the center, crack in the eggs, yolk and the olive oil then begin to mix with a fork until a dough begins to form. This can also be done in a robo coupe or standing mixer which is convenient. Now tip your dough onto a work surface and knead for around ten minutes, add a little flour if the dough is too sticky, it should be nice and springy. Wrap the dough in cling film and chill for half an hour before use. While the dough rests put the chicken stock in a large pan of water with oil and salt then begin to boil on full heat.
On the thickest setting of a pasta machine start to roll the dough through, do it a couple of times then proceed to drop down to a thinner setting after every 2 passes until you hit the 3rd thinnest setting, this will give your noodles that little bit of thickness to allow the al dente effect to be more noticeable (if that’s what you like) Now cut your pasta sheet into 4 equal pieces and using a Fettucine attachment rapidly roll the pasta through it, the faster you do it the better in my opinion. Toss the Fettucine in flour to stop it sticking. With your pan of stock on a rolling boil plunge in the pasta and cook for 90 seconds, drain off the stock but reserve a bit in the pan, this will act as a sauce. Put the pasta back in your pan and add the butter, salt, pepper and the parmesan if you are using it, toss this together allowing the butter to melt then serve.
I encourage you to get some chickens of your own, I only have 3 but am never short of eggs and I recommend trying pasta al burro, simple yet satisfying, like me. Wishing everyone a prosperous new year Buon Appetito!!