A Little Guilt Works Wonders

...especially if your hubby is an Irish/Italian Catholic and you ever so sweetly (but not necessarily discreetly) give him a good-natured little jab on your blog about how much he didn't want to celebrate a commercially-endorsed holiday designed to make lovers feel pressured to show their love and singles remorse about being single.

To be fair, he did say we could do lovey-dovey things on any other, non-commercially endorsed days of the year (ahem, pick your day, sweetheart). So: Pooey on Valentine's Day, but yay for an excuse to make fancy food and eat rich, decadent desserts (I'll take that any day!).

So without further adieu, the recipe:

Homemade Tagliatelle with Truffles and Oozy Cheese Sauce, serves 2
adapted from a recipe by Jamie Oliver

For the pasta:
2 large organic eggs
1 cups pasta flour, plus extra for dusting
Sea salt

For the cheese sauce:
1/2 cup creme fraiche
2.5 ounces sliced fontina
2.5 ounces freshly grated Parmesan
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound broccoli
1 large organic egg yolks
1 small handful fresh marjoram leaves - chopped

Freshly grated Parmesan, for serving
1 large, fresh truffle, shaved
Extra-virgin olive oil

Crack the eggs into a food processor and add the flour. Pulse it until the pasta turns sort of doughy and crumbly. Jamie says you can test the consistency by pinching the dough, and if it's a bit sticky add a little more flour and pulse again - this actually works! Use pasta flour though - we used all-purpose and it ended up a little chewier than it should have been.

Tip the dough mixture onto a floured surface and shape it into a ball with your hands. Give it a little knead until smooth, then divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Start on the thickest setting of your pasta machine and run the first bit of dough through 4 or 5 times, moving the rollers closer together each time until the pasta is silky, smooth and about as thick as a CD. Flour your finished sheet generously, then fold it up and cut across into 1/2-inch strips. Gather all the slices together and toss them through your fingers, with a little flour, to open them up and make your pile of rustic, beautiful tagliatelle. Repeat this procedure with the rest of the dough.

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. In a bowl large enough to rest on top of the pan like a double-boiler, put your creme fraiche, fontina or other melting cheese and your Parmesan with a pinch of salt and pepper. Place the bowl over the pan for the cheeses to slowly melt. Meanwhile, trim any dry ends off the broccoli, then finely slice the stalks diagonally and cut the florets into smaller pieces.

At this point the cheese sauce will be melted, so remove the bowl from above the pan and drop the pasta and broccoli into the boiling water. Boil hard for 2 to 3 minutes, until the pasta is just cooked through. Whip up the 2 egg yolks and the marjoram into the sauce. Don't use too much here as marjaram is very piney flavored (that's why you should chop it) and any big pieces are going to overpower everything! Drain the pasta and broccoli, reserving a little of the cooking water, and quickly toss them with the sauce - the heat from the pasta will be enough to cook the eggs through. If the sauce is a little thick, add a few splashes of cooking water to make it silky and loose. Taste and season, if necessary. Serve as quickly as you can, with some extra Parmesan and the shaved truffles sprinkled over the top and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.

For another homemade pasta recipe and story, try this.
And, if needed, further coersion techniques can be found here.

5 comments from you:

Ann said...

Oh. Yum.

I really do have to get back to making pasta.

Julie said...

That looks spectacularly rich and delicious. Perfect!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Homemade Tagliatelle! Now you're talking love and romance Michelle. Then you put cheesey goodness on it, that takes it over the top!
I need to make Tagliatelle.

Toni said...

Homemade pasta is an act of love. Truly! And then you add truffles? Wow! Now THAT'S love!!!

This looks fabulous! Don't have a pasta maker. ;-( I might have to re-think that one....

Michelle said...

Ann, Whenever I make fresh pasta I always wonder why I don't do it more often - the rewards are so worth the small amount of extra 'trouble.'

Julie, Thanks! It was!

Tanna, Yep, sometimes romance is all about the oozy cheese, eh?!

Toni, Hi! Although our poor pasta maker sits on the shelf most of the time, I wouldn't trade it for the world - and we got it for $10 bucks at the second-hand store. And truffles, well, they're just truffles - always worth it!