Friday, June 1, 2012
Morel and Fava Bean Fresh Pasta
I love fresh pasta. I love eating it, I love making it, I love cooking it. I love fresh pasta. I especially love fresh pasta in the late spring with a homage to the budding gifts of nature. This is my declaration of spring happiness, fresh pasta, morels, and fresh fava beans.
I am Egyptian, so I have an unhealthy obsession with fava beans of all varieties. Most Egyptians eat fava beans for breakfast in a dish called Fool Medamas. However, I adore fresh fava beans. They are a labor of love, you have to deshell them, parboil them, peel them, and then cook them, but they are so worth it.
The dish comes together very quickly, and you don't want to over cook the pasta. I think the total cooking time is about 3 minutes. So it is best to have everything ready, or as the professionals call it, mise en place.
Here is how you do it.
For the pasta:
2 cups of semolina flour
Cornmeal for dusting and flour for your hands
1. In your mixer add the flour and turn on low.
2. Add one egg at at time until fully incorporated.
3. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
4. Cut your dough into 4 peices.
5. Use a pasta press to slowly get your dough thinner and thinner, starting with the largest setting and working to the smallest. Use flour to help the dough from sticking.
6. Change blades on your pasta press and cut the dough for the pasta what ever thickness you like. We like linguini.
7. Pile the cornmeal and allow the pasta to fall into the little mound. Seperating the strings with your fingers so they don't stick.
8. Fresh pasta, ready for cooking... :)
For the dish:
1 cup of morels
1 pint of fava beans in the shell
1 lb of fresh pasta
salt and pepper
1. Set up a large skillet and a large pot of boiling water on two burners next to each other.
2. Take the fava beans out of the pods. Set a big pot of water to boil, and put a heat-safe strainer in it so you can re-use the water to cook the pasta. Parboil the favabeans in the boiling water for about a minute or until they looked shriveled. Take them out of the water. Let them cool so you can touch them, and remove the outer casing.
3. Pour a few teaspoons of olive oil on the bottom of large skillet (it should be large enough to hold the entire dish). Add the morels and sautee lightly for about a minute.
4. Add the fresh pasta to the boiling water in the large pot with the strainer in it, cook for 1 minute.
5. Add the shelled fava beans to the pasta in the boiling water, cook for 1 minute.
6. Take the strainer out of the boiling water with the fava beans and the pasta, pour into the morels.
7. Turn off the heat.
8. Turn the pasta and the fava beans into the morels. It is ok if some of the liquid from the pasta mixes in, that is good.
9. Quickly serve and enjoy. You can add salt and pepper and a little bit of grated parmesan if you wish.
As always, much love, many blessings, and happy cooking!
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