Pappardelle with radicchio and bacon; braised spinach – 20 June 2012

I ran across this pasta recipe when in search of the grilled veggie recipe, and decided to make it since we had some leftover bacon from Sunday lunch.

The recipe is almost entirely from Saveur, but here is how I did (half of) it:

Cut one extremely thick slice of Niman Ranch Applewood Smoked bacon into thickish matchsticks, and saute in 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil just below medium for perhaps 5 minutes. Add a half a small yellow onion, chopped, and cook slowly – about medium low – till brown, about 30 minutes. Add less than half a small (4″) head of radicchio, “julienned”, which I interpreted as thin-sliced, crosswise, and cook for 3 minutes. this needs to be salted and peppered before serving, which we did after combining with the pasta.

The pasta itself was Bertolli’s recipe: 1 cup flour and 1 large egg, mixed and kneaded, adding in as little water as possible to make a coherent dough. Wrap in waxed paper for at least an hour. Roll out to “5” on the Atlas pasta maker, and cut into 1/2″ or 1cm or so strips. Might have been wider than that this time. Boil about 5 minutes in salted water. Save 1/4 cup of the pasta water and drain the pasta, adding it and the water to the radicchio mixture (we salted and peppered here) and tossing well. Serve in heated bowls or plates.

The spinach was an attempt to mimic the fabulous dish we had at Borobudur  last week. It was great, even though it was not a good mimic. The dish was called Tumis Bayam Bawang Putih. It had red peppers and tofu, which were not in the recipe I tried to base this on (of which I attempted to produce 1/4). D cooked this for me after I prepped it, b/c everything in the endgame happened at once. I couldn’t find the red pepper I thought I had for this, so that was missing from the mimic-attempt. First, 1/2 a shredded small red onion and 1/4 clove of garlic (riiight… well, we had several really teensy cloves of garlic, as it turns out, so I used one of those)  also shredded, are cooked in 1tsp peanut oil “till aromatic”. D then added the tofu chunks and cooked till they were crisped on the outside. The tofu was “broiled” already (sold broiled), and I had taken two slices of perhaps 1/2″ to 3/4″ each off one end of the block (leaving it close to square), and cut them into 5-6 little bricks each. Cooking these took D a few minutes. Then he dumped in a couple cups or more of baby spinach that I had washed and left to drain late in the afternoon (slip from the Bowl says it was 0.24lb) , and 1/16 tsp sugar, and the same of salt, and allegedly the same of pepper but undoubtedly he just ground some in. This was not enough salt, D eventually thought, so perhaps more would be in order. The spinach cooks only a minute on high before the dish is done. I had put our small dishes from The Spanish Table into the oven to heat along with the pasta bowls, and indeed, the spinach had cooked down enough to fit these well. Amazing.

D chose a Brutocao zinfandel for this, and it was great. I am so glad we lucked upon this wine, and recognized the name from our recent drive to Mendocino, and so tried it. Really good wine! He also made a new loaf of no-knead bread, this time with (he thinks) 1/6 white-whole-wheat flour, about 1/6 buckwheat flour, and the rest King Arthur bread flour.

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