Saturday, April 17, 2010

Fresh pasta with spring artichokes, asparagus, pine nuts and goat cheese

As promised, here is my recipe for artichoke pasta with goat cheese. You can make it with store-bought fresh pasta, or dry pasta (white or whole wheat), but making fresh pasta is much easier than it sounds, and it can be quite comforting as kneading the dough can be quite a therapeutic way to work out the days stresses!

I have used multiple recipes over the years for fresh pasta, but the easiest (never fail) recipe is from Italian home cooking guru Lidia Matticchio Bastianich's book Lidia's Family Table. Here is the recipe:
Fresh Pasta
2 cups all purpose flour
2 jumbo free range eggs
4 T good quality olive oil
3 T cold water
pinch sea salt

Make a well in the middle of the flour. Add remaining ingredients to well.

Slowly mix egg mixture into flour. Incorporating sides of well into egg mixture until fully incorporated.

Kneed for 5-10 minutes or until pasta is soft and springs back when pressed. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and let rest, at room temperature, for at least 30 minutes (or refrigerate overnight if you are preparing in advance).

Divide pasta into three sections. Roll out pasta and cut into lengths according to your preference.

Pasta with Spring Artichokes, Asparagus, Pine Nuts and Goat Cheese

2 T olive oil
2 T butter, unsalted
2 cloves garlic, minced
5-7 baby artichoke hearts, quartered
5-10 sprigs of asparagus, bottom shaved and tough ends removed, cut into 2 inch pieces
zest of one lemon
1 large glass dry white wine or dry vermouth
1/4 cup free range chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
1/3 cup mascarpone cheese
4 T goat cheese
1/4 cup fresh chives, minced
pasta recipe (above)
freshly ground pepper and sea salt

Toast pine nuts in a dry pan over high heat until browned, remove and set aside. Heat oil and butter over medium high heat. Add garlic, artichoke hearts, asparagus and lemon zest. Saute until softened. Add wine and stock. Reduce by half. Add mascarpone and pine nuts and stir until cheese is melted. Adjust seasonings. Cook pasta for 2-3 minutes in salted boiling water. Reserve 1-2 cups pasta water and drain pasta. Add pasta to vegetables and toss. Add reserved pasta water if pasta seems dry. Serve sprinkled with goat cheese and chives.

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