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.
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!