One of my favorite cookbooks is Suzanne Goin’s Sunday Suppers at Lucques. It’s seasonal and beautiful with menus that often take lots of steps. It’s not something you cook from unless you’ve got time. Meanwhile, I’ve been getting all kinds of fun stuff in my CSA, as well as picking up other things like asparagus and strawberries from the farmers markets around town. While absently flipping through it last week, I spotted a menu that included Orecchiette Carbonara with Peas and Pea Tendrils. For dessert, Crème Fraiche Panna Cotta with Strawberries. Sold! I also had the asparagus and a lot of various lettuces for a simple salad.
I decided to make it more complicated by making my own orechiette pasta by hand. I’ve done pasta before, but mostly ravioli and strand pasta. I’ve never attempted shapes. It turned out to be easier than I thought. It just takes practice of course. I’m not an 80 year old Italian grandmother nor do I have one, so I started from scratch. Here’s a photo:
Do they look like the ones that come in the box? Not really, but they tasted great. First you roll out the dough into a thin snake, then you cut and smoosh. I’m not sure that I perfected it exactly, but I had fun doing it!
The meal came together splendidly as did several friends, many of whom brought delicious wine and even cookies. Goin’s recipes are pretty fool proof. The carbonara came together. Panna cotta is so easy, I don’t know why I don’t make it all the time. Unfortunately, we were too busy eating to take photos alas, but I’ll go on record saying that it’s the best meal I’ve ever cooked in my life. Now all I want to do is explore pasta making.
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