Tag Archives: parsley oil

Tarragon Spaghetti with Broccoli Pesto and Parsley Oil

Tarragon Spaghetti with Broccoli Pesto and Parsley Oil

Well, it’s been a while!

Life has got in the way, and although I have been thermomixing madly, I haven’t had the chance to try anything new recently, although I have been doing lots of now regular favourites from In The Mix.  And with book number two coming out soon, I’d better get moving so I don’t end up with an enormous workload in front of me!

This recipe comes to us from Florent Gerardin, who is one of the sous chefs at the flawless Vue de Monde.  I went there for my birthday last year and it was one of the best dining experiences of my life…

I have been meaning to make this recipe for simply ages.  In fact, I even purchased a Pasta Machine in anticipation about 12 months ago.  I saw one of Peters Of Kensington Daily Deal newsletter, and it was a true bargain – about $60 from memory – with all the requisite attachments – so it’s been sitting in the cupboard ever since.  Of course, I had a play with it when it first arrived – more to get the packing grease and oil and dust out of it – so it’s official baptism was with the tarragon spaghetti.  Well, actually, tarragon tagliatelle.  I thought the spaghetti was a little too hard for me so I went the tagliatelle path, and it was delicious!

What’s more – I was able to rope some little hands in to help!  Master 4 has recently been looking at Italy at Kinder and they made and cooked their own pasta recently, so he was already a bit of an expert at the pasta rolling business – more so than his mother!  I’d never attempted making pasta before, so this was my first ever go – and it didn’t do too shabbily if I do say so myself!

I’m hoping that since he has had a role in making it, the fact that it’s green will not turn him off!!  Although he insists that green is his favourite colour, getting him to eat a green vegetable is somewhat of a challenge.

This recipe is in a few stages –

  • The Tarragon Chlorophyll, which will take you a little while to make and drain, so it’s probably best to start the day before;
  • The Tarragon Spaghetti, which you make the dough for, then rest in the fridge for 20 minutes before rolling out in the pasta maker.
  • The Broccoli Pesto
  • and finally, the Parsley Oil. You may recall that I made this quite a while ago, and I’ve since made another batch.  If you want to see my notes on making it, have a look at the Salmon Confit post.

So, the Tarragon Chlorophyll

I bought my tarragon at the local greengrocers, who are fabulous.  From what I understand you’re best to get this from a greengrocer rather than the racketeers at your local supermarket.  Tarragon has become a ‘specialist’ herb at my supermarket and they sell it – for convenience if you can believe it – in 10 gram packets for the princely sum of $2.30.  That’s $230 a kilo.  Outrageous.  Better still, if you grow it yourself, it would be perfect!

The actual process for the Tarragon Chlorophyll is not difficult, but it is little noisy.  If I had my time again, I’d drain it for less time than I did (I did an overnight and I thought it dried out a little too much) so I’d say somewhere about 6 or 7 hours would be spot on.  I drained mine in new, clean chux superwipe, but next time I’d do it through a coffee fliter instead. For ease of use, I’d then freeze it in little ice cubes of about 30 grams each, as you’ll make more than you need – although not much more – it’s surprisingly little for what goes into it. I froze mine without any ill effects, or you could even make up extra batches of the dough and freeze it I guess.

The Pasta

As I said, I’ve never made pasta before and I think I’ll be making it a lot more now.  It is SO easy.  The rolling takes a little practice but is not too hard at all.  Just work with manageable sized pieces and you’ll be set.

For my first couple of goes, I didn’t have the pasta maker fixed to the bench.  Experience tells me it makes your life easier if you do!  And, if there is a spare pair of hands in the kitchen to help you with the rolling through and turning into strands part, that would help immensely.  Even the rolling was made easier by Master 4, when he was doing the turning, and I was feeding the pasta dough through, and picking it up at the bottom.

For the record, I kept my dough in the fridge for a day before I tackled it.  And even then, I had some extra pasta flour (the ’00’ kind) on hand to keep dusting my dough with to help ease it through the pasta roller.

Necessity is the mother of invention, and I realised that I didn’t have anywhere to hang my pasta in strands, so I grabbed the clothes rack out of the laundry, covered it with some clean tea towels, and that became my pasta drying rack.  It worked beautifully.  Note for beginners (like me!): lay it out for a couple of hours until it becomes touch-dry and not as stretchy as it is when it first comes out.  Then you can take it off the tea towels if you want, and just hang it from the rungs of the clothes rack. I also teased the strands apart then, which was certainly easier that when it was freshly churned out.

Now that I know how easy pasta is to make, I’ll certainly be making more.  It’s so easy! And Master 4 LOVES it!  He’s no so keen on the broccoli pesto, but I am going to work on that one.  He loves parmesan and pine nuts, so I might just play around with the broccoli content and increase it over time.  We mothers are sneaky, aren’t we?

The Broccoli Pesto

How easy and simple is this recipe! I love it – it’s healthy, it tastes great and it’s so easy.  Steam your broccoli for a few minutes – literally.  Then chuck it in the bowl with some creme fraiche, pine nuts, garlic, shallot, parmesan and voila!  Cook it for about 8 minutes and you’ll have an incredibly tasty and delicious meal – even without the parsley oil. If you wanted to cheat, I’m sure you could use bought pasta as well, but the tarragon flavoured pasta goes really well with the broccoli.  I seasoned it on completion – and used more pepper than anything as the parmesan seems to give it the saltiness it needs.

The Parsley Oil

The thermomix is fabulous to make flavoured oils with, and the parsley oil is no exception.  Parsley, a neutral oil, and some time to both heat and chop/puree and lots of draining time are all you need.  Make sure you have a good, airtight bottle to store it in the fridge.  I’m sure this tastes even better when you use your own home grown parsley like I did… delicious!

I’ll absolutely be making this one again, and even though I may not have time to make the pasta from scratch every time, the broccoli pesto is a sure fire winner.  You’ll be pleased to know that I kept aside a little portion for Master 4, and it kept really well for 24 hours, beyond that I’m unsure as he ate it all – even though there was a little pesto scraping off going on!


Posted by on June 24, 2013 in Main meals


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Parsley Oil (part of the recipe for Tarragon Spaghetti with Broccoli Pesto and Parsley Oil)

So, this is a bit of a white elephant – the only reason I made it the other day was that Dani had mentioned that the Pea Soup was nice with the parsley oil!  I had a little extra time up my sleeve today, and as it only takes 15 minutes (plus draining time) I was able to do it.  It has the most beautiful parsley flavour – it really is like eating parsley!

It’s a piece of cake really – some neutral oil and some fresh parsley.  I used Italian parsley, but I’m sure other parsley would work just as well.  Chuck it in the thermomix and blend away – be warned though, this is a bit of a noisy recipe, which surprised me!  It’s just that the thermomix is on a high speed for quite a long time – so if you’re anything like me – put in your iPod or leave the room! I actually turned the speed down for a while when it was really doing my head in – but I am a wimp!

Don’t be alarmed if the temperature goes up past the temperature you’re cooking the oil at – mine certainly did and it didn’t have any adverse consequences.  There will also be vapour coming up from the lid – so don’t worry.

The result after 15 minutes is the most beautiful deep green oil, which you then filter.  I didn’t have any muslin or coffee filters, so I used a clean chux wipe, which worked – but only just.  I’ve ended up buying coffee filters today and have filtered it again so it’s very, very clear and with no sediment at the bottom.

A word of warning to the eager beavers though – don’t put your oil into a jar or bottle that is not absolutely, positively dry – otherwise you’ll end up with water at the bottom of your oil, which not only doesn’t look great – but would probably shorten the shelf life of the oil. Another little word of caution – the oil can stain your hands if you don’t wash it off quickly – so watch out for pale coloured bench tops!!

This oil would also make a lovely gift for a culinary friend – so once the parsley I am growing in the garden is in profuse supply, I’ll make this again.


Posted by on May 18, 2012 in Condiments


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Kuzu Gnocchi with Pea Soup

Well, first of all – a huge thanks to Dani for mentioning my humble blog on her Facebook page.  And welcome to my new followers!  I hope that I can give you some pre-cooking tips for the divine recipes from “In The Mix”.

I would love to hear from you, especially if you have any particular recipes you want me to try soon – or if you have any feedback on other stuff you want me to include in my rambles – or that you don’t want me to mention.

So, my project today was Kuzu Gnocchi with Pea Soup.  (It was supposed to be yesterday’s project, but I had some trouble locating kuzu – even the local Japanese supermarket didn’t have it) Anyway, I tracked kuzu down at a Health Food shop locally – it’s the organic one and it was about $10 for 100 grams.  It’s a weird looking stuff – white and chunky crunchy bits – so much so I wasn’t sure if I should sift it before I added it to the gruyere mix.  I didn’t and it seems to have turned out ok… time will tell!

For those who have the book, Dani has modified the recipe slightly since the first publication, and the new version will be in her third reprint.  So I used the new version, which is on the In the Mix Facebook page.  It’s actually a pretty easy sauce to make, the challenge comes with creating the gnocchi (and as some of you would know, I am piping challenged).

This recipe is from Raymond Capaldi, who is the chef at Hare and Grace, Melbourne.

First of all, I hadn’t eaten Gruyere cheese for ages.  I’d forgotten how good it was, and I may just have cut of a little chunk or two for myself while I was making this.  You can also make this with mozzarella, if you are so inclined.  But Gruyere it was – and it was dead easy.  Cut the cheese into smallish cubes (I managed about 15 or so cubes for the 60 grams) as it will make the initial noise of the cheese hitting the thermomix bowl lessen.

If I had my time again, I’d have the kuzu pre-measured – so do that first before you start cooking anything – otherwise you’ll do what I did and end up with some kuzu sticking to the MC – unless you’re someone who inverts your MC all the time –  which was a bit of a pain.

I still haven’t got around to getting a decent piping bag, so I cheated and used the old zip lock bag, but this time I used a nozzle with it that I had from an icing set.  Worked like a dream, although the mixture can be pretty hot on your hands – even if you let it cool down a little.  When you’re piping the gnocchi, you need to do it in a bowl of iced water.  I’m lucky as I have an ice water dispenser in the fridge, but make sure you have this ready to go – and my suggestion would be to have the water in a large, shallow dish so you can get lots of gnocchi in the one dish, without having to crowd them together.  Mine are in two bowls – one with high sides, which made life difficult for the piping, and one large flat bottomed soup bowl, which actually worked quite well. I started off having some ice cubes in the water, but ended up taking them out as they caused more trouble than they were worth.  You could probably use a lamington tray if you were  going to use the gnocchi immediately, but if you’re planning of keeping them in the fridge in water for a few days then use something you can easily seal.  I have two bowls taking up lots of space in the fridge, as I was too scared to try and move them all into one different bowl…they just look a little too frail.  Might attempt it before I cook them tonight and see how I go.

The pea soup component is so easy – and taste delicious if the spoonfuls I’ve had while cooking it are anything to go by. It has lemon zest in it, which really adds a lovely tang to it.  I’m hoping that Master 3 might even dare to try some – he used to love peas and has gone completely off them of late.  And there’s nothing like the taste of fresh peas – makes you wonder why we ever bother with the frozen kind!

I also took Dani’s suggestion and made the parsley oil to go with this, which I’ll blog separately.  It looks, smells and tastes absolutely beautiful!

So, I’ve just eaten it – absolutely delicious.  The pea soup is lovely and thick and is a lovely shade of mid green.  I think in retrospect I should have piped the gnocchi a little larger, but the good news is that once they are chilled well in the ice water they are a little more amenable to moving! I made mine about 1.30 and cooked them at 7, and stored them in the fridge in water in between.  They firmed up quite nicely, but they are slippery little suckers, so be careful when you’re using the slotted spoon to get them out of the bowl of iced water.

Be sparing with the olive oil when you heat them through before you serve the gnocchi component – they melt pretty quickly – I guess they wouldn’t if they were larger – so use a large frying pan and spread them out so they don’t melt together.  Mine lost their shape a lot, but it also could have been that all the kuzu didn’t make it into the mixture, and I was a bit nervous about adding some extra in as I wasn’t familiar with using it.

I was a little lazy and served this in a large bowl rather than a plate, and if presentation is important to you, I’d definitely use a plate in future as I think it makes the dish look far more impressive.  We were being naughty and eating on the couch, so I didn’t want to risk the whole lot going west – so bowls it was.  Definitely use the parsley oil if you can – it looks and tastes beautiful.  If I had served it on a plate, I could have spread it artistically around the pea soup, but I just put in a few splodges and although it didn’t look pretty, it tasted great!

So – the family review was positive – we’ll definitely have these again! We had this as a dinner rather than an entree and it was quite enough for 2 adults with healthy appetites and a small serve left over for Master 3 tomorrow!

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Posted by on May 16, 2012 in Entrees, Main meals


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