Tagliatelle with Rhubarb
I’ve never cooked with rubarb, I’ve rarely eaten it. I’ve never really been able to boast a sweet tooth and rhubarb seems to always be in desserts, with cup after cup of sugar added to cut the tartness. I had never been curious to use it until I found a series of recipes from La Cucina Italiana featuring rhubarb. This recipe popped out at me, I loved that it incorporated raisins and pine nuts, two ingredients that I love with my pasta and thought that I would give it a go.
It was an interesting combination of flavors, delicious really. The rhubarb was tart and melted into the pan, which I would have never expected them to do, they were so crisp and firm when I cut into them, I thought that they would take forever to soften. The sweetness of the raisins and the crunch of the pine nuts were wonderful surprises in every bite. I used dried tagliatelle, but have added the recipe from La Cucina Italiana for fresh.
Tagliatelle al sugo aromatico di rabarbaro
adapted from La Cucina Italiana
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 10 1/2 ounces rhubarb stalks
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
- Fine sea salt
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts, roughly chopped
- 3 tablespoons golden raisins, soaked in warm water 10 minutes, then drained
- 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh dill (I used mint)
FOR PASTA: On a clean work surface, mound flour and form a well in the center. Add eggs and egg yolks to the well. Using a fork, gently break up yolks and slowly incorporate flour from inside rim of well. Continue until liquid is absorbed, then knead for 10 minutes. Wrap dough tightly in plastic and let rest for 30 minutes.
Divide dough into 3 pieces. Cover 2 pieces with plastic wrap. Flatten remaining dough piece so that it will fit through the rollers of a pasta machine.
Set rollers of pasta machine at the widest setting, then feed pasta through rollers 3 or 4 times, folding and turning pasta until it is smooth and the width of the machine.
Roll pasta through machine, decreasing the setting, one notch at a time (do not fold or turn pasta), until pasta sheet is scant 1/16 inch thick.
Cut sheet in half crosswise; dust both sides of sheets with flour. Layer sheets between floured pieces of parchment or wax paper. Cover with paper and repeat with remaining dough.
With the short end of 1 pasta sheet facing you, loosely fold up sheet, folding sheet over two or three times from short ends toward the center. With a large chefs knife, cut folded sheet into ribbons, a scant 1/4 inch wide. Unroll strips and lightly dust with flour; spread on a lightly floured baking sheet. Repeat with remaining pasta sheets.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, make sauce.
FOR SAUCE: Cut each rhubarb stalk crosswise into 3 pieces, then thinly slice lengthwise. In a wide heavy pot or Dutch oven, combine wine, cream, shallot and 1/4 teaspoon salt; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat; cook, stirring occasionally, 1 minute. Add rhubarb and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes more. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a medium skillet, combine butter, pine nuts and raisins; cook over medium heat until butter is melted and flavors begin to meld, about 2 minutes. Stir in dill; cook 1 minute more. Remove from heat.
Cook pasta in the boiling water until tender, about 3 minutes. Reserving 1/4 cup pasta cooking liquid, drain pasta. Transfer pasta to a large serving bowl; add pasta cooking liquid, pine nut mixture, rhubarb mixture and generous pinch salt. Toss to combine. Adjust seasoning. Serve immediately.
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