Does absence make the heart grow fonder with blogging too? I sure hope so. I realize that it seems like I’ve been a bit out of touch, but really, I’ve been right here in my very kitchen processing fruit. Lots and lots of fruit. I will be posting about the fruit shortly, but for now, can we talk about one of my favorite subjects? That’s right, pasta.
Look at how beautiful this is! I ordinarily try not to post duplicate images (a similar image was previously on Instagram), but I love everything about this photo. I love that it says we are about to have amazing pasta. “Mix me,” it says, “Knead me. Roll me. Cut me into long strips and boil me in hot, salty water.”
Or fail. One egg and seven egg yolks into the garbage. The dough was tough and dry, the flour wouldn’t mix in. You would think I made pasta on the driest day of the year but it was so humid here (in the mountains, people) that my hairdresser thought I had actually styled my hair because it had so much body. Ordinarily, I would try again, but not after Peach Festival 2014 was raging all day in my kitchen. I went to the store and bought some pappardelle. It was good.
I did not cheat on the sauce. Let’s go back a bit. I stumbled on this recipe for pappardelle with fennel sausage and ricotta while looking up peach recipes on the beautiful blog, Taste. For those of you without extensive pasta shape background, pappardelle is a long, egg pasta. It is wider than fettuccine but still flat. It is delicious. Add to that fresh eggy pasta a light white wine sauce with sausage and fennel? I was in.
Aside from the pasta debacle, this dish was quite simple. Cook down your sausage (the recipe calls for fennel sausage, which I could not find, so substituted mild Italian sausage – next time, I might season my own but this will do in a pinch) and fennel bulb in a bit of olive oil. Add shallots, garlic, and dry white wine. Cook down a bit more. Add chicken stock. Simmer. Toss with your pasta, a bit of reserved pasta water, and fresh Italian parsley. Add dollops of ricotta and sprinkle with parmesan. Holy cannoli. That is some fine pasta.
Oh, and P.S.? During the fruit-a-thon, we stopped to have a lovely sirloin dish over celery salad. Simple but very tasty. You should give it a try.