Pappardelle with radicchio and bacon; four-lettuce salad – 9 July 2018

We had a little bit of radicchio to use up – about 2.3 oz, as it turns out, in good shape, all usable but the core – so I decided this pasta would be a good use for it.

Amazing how easy fresh pasta is once you get used to it.

I made a Bertolli pasta, but am trying using less flour and no water, to bring the amount down to two proper servings for us. tonight I used 2/3 cup flour and the smallest of the “large” eggs in our carton, and I think that is too little. It weighed 5.3 oz, but that’s not dried, so water weight is in there – likely a lot less food than 5 oz dried pasta. So I think I will go to 3/4 cup flour from now on. I think this is a pretty definitive recipe, finally:

Make Bertolli dough with 3/4 cup flour and one large egg, plus as little water as possible.

Cut one slice Niman Ranch apple smoked bacon crosswise into matchsticks.

Cut about 4 oz yellow onion in to modest dice.

Prepare the parmagiano-grater with serving-cheese – maybe an ounce? Or less.

Cook the bacon about 5 minutes at med-low in 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil till browned. Add the chopped onion and 1 pinch salt and some grinds of pepper, lower the heat to Low, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes. If not almost ready to serve, turn off the heat. Otherwise, add about 2.3 oz (+/-) julienned radicchio (this is about 1/3 very small head) and cook, stirring, till wilted.

Cook the pasta in boiling, salted water 6 minutes, stirring to move top pasta to the bottom etc. Drain, after filling the serving bowls with boiling water to heat them. Add the radicchio mixture and – if necessary, less than 2 Tbsp pasta cooking water.

It turned out very well, but the above has been corrected for pasta/topping ratio, and the amount of pasta cooking water, which was a shade high.

I decided this was not a well-rounded dinner, so I made up a lettuce salad that I had wanted to do sometime anyway. There were four lettuces in the fridge, some of which I’d intentionally left for the purpose of mixing them, and also some delicate baby kale from the back yard (from a crack in the sidewalk, in fact) that I decided several days ago I should put into something raw rather than cooking it. I had the last of the red-leaf lettuce, a head of butter lettuce, and the romaine, plus more of the head of Blue Heron galisse, and the kale. A few of these were quite wilty, so I re-washed them and spun them, and then put them into a plastic bag (reused!!0 in the fridge to brighten up. It worked!! I took from the fridge a cup with leftover olive oil/red wine vinegar dressing, and added a bit of both to make enough, then more salt and pepper. I ended up adding a bit of salt to the dressed salad, and it was really an excellent addition to the meal. Plus I put it in such pretty bowls 🙂 Had a bit of yesterday’s Acme Italian Batard for sopping-bread.

We talked about wines a bit, and the obvious choice was our 2015 Chateau de Manissey Cotes du Rhone, but I suggested perhaps we should have the tester bottle of the 2016 that we got at Wine Mine a week ago Saturday. Wine Mine said this was not the same wonderful earthiness that the previous vintage had, so we were not expecting it to be as good. It was a very nice wine, but not (as was its predecessor) one we’d go back and buy a case of. But I might argue for more, even so.

Lunch:

Yesterday I trimmed the pale orange and grey rind off the taleggio, knowing it would not melt properly into the risotto, but the Cheese Boarder said that it was perfectly fine to eat, so I kept it. D suggested making it into a grilled sandwich, so we did. Great idea! I got out two end-ish pieces from the Morell’s sesame seed boule, and D had Acme Italian, intentionally left for the purpose, with just cheese and mayonnaise. Oh, and D wanted a bit of onion on his so I finished off the fragment of the red onion that way. It was a veryr god sandwich. I could have used more of the white/interior parts of the cheese for the risotto, so should trim future rinds better. This was a 268 gram piece, of which 200 were supposed to go into the risotto, and about 180 actually did.

Goodness, what a fun lunch! D put two tomatoes (four pieces) from the oven-roasted set into the large cast-iron frying pan, and let them heat while I finished up making the sandwiches, and then we cooked them in butter in the same pan (covered). Also, D cooked up a few green beans and left them in melting butter, and prepared radishes and got out a dill pickle from E. I looked at the teensy plates with radishes and pickles and said “you’re a cat,” which he correctly understood to be a reference to cats sitting invariably in boxes several times too small for them. When he registered that not only sandwiches, but also green beans and tomatoes, were still needing a place, he relented and got out a second set of plates so we’d have enough room for lunch.

 

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