Sunday, May 2, 2010

pressed herb and flower pasta with garlic

isn’t this the most elegant sheet of pasta you’ve ever seen? all the additions (except parsley and garlic) came fresh from the garden--pansies, dill, basil and oregano in the dough, then rosemary in the sauce and chives as a garnish. i do have parsley growing that i could’ve used, but i had a nice fresh bunch from the store anyway.

to make this pasta, start out with a basic pasta dough. one slight alteration: while making the dough i minced two cloves of garlic...kept mincing and crushing and mincing until it became a fine paste, then added it at the same time as the olive oil. garlic is optional but recommended.

i rolled out the dough pretty thin--ending on the second- or third-to-last setting on the machine--then cut it into pairs of equal-sized rectangles and laid out the herbs. i rinsed the herbs just prior to setting them down and the moisture helped adhere them to the dough.

i also spritzed the top dough rectangle with a little water before carefully layering it on top of the herbs. i gently rolled it with a rolling pin to seal, then ran it through the pasta machine until it became thin and transparent.

this was my second attempt; my first attempt didn’t turn out how i wanted. i didn’t make the dough very thin before placing the herbs, so when i rolled it out enough for the proper effect the herbs became extremely stretched out:

which is not a bad look, but not what i wanted. keep in mind that the herbs are going to stretch a bit no matter what. if you use a rolling pin instead of a pasta machine you can stretch them in all directions instead of just one.

i also placed the leaves too far apart the first time. with the second sheet i gave a lot more thought to layout. i tried to make the dill look like plants the flowers are growing from--afterwards i realized i could’ve used saffron threads at the base to look like roots. there’s so much creative potential with this technique--i love the idea of using it to make pictures or abstract patterns.

i sliced the finished pasta in thick ribbons. here it is cooked:

for seasoning i heated a bit of olive oil and added a couple coarsely-chopped garlic cloves, some rosemary and salt. as you can see i overcooked the garlic a didn’t burn at least, and it was still delicious. then i scattered fresh chives around the plate and added a sprig of oregano for garnish.


JJ Beazley said...

Em, your creative genius flows over everything. I don't make statements like that lightly.

Jessica said...

Delicious food inspiration is just what I need right now after several weeks of eating too much junk! Thank you. Did you get the basil from your garden already???

p.s. I can't wait to see Sock Monkey Rehab rehabbed.

Katherine said...

I am definitely going to try this with some small basil leaves and thyme flowers, they should be blooming any time now. I love a fat pasta - but I was thinking "raviolis!" The new camera is sweet, this hell semester is nearly done, only two classes for the summer and I'm nearly done moving in next door. You will love the new garden. ((hugs))

Emily said...

thank you, jeff. that's very kind of you.

jessica--so glad you're inspired! yup the basil was home-grown, although i guess i should specify it was from my inside garden, the one that's taking over all my south-facing windowsills. same with the dill, but everything else came from outside.

katherine--i am so, so excited to see the new garden. we need to have a huge gardening celebration once the semester's over.