Monday, March 5, 2012

Truffle Spaghetti Carbonara, Pan Seared Chicken Thigh and Celery Root, Endive and Muscat Grape Salad

A not so pleasant morning here in Seattle and dropping off the kids at school in the wind and rain, they requested pasta for dinner.  I haven't made carbonara in a while or fresh pasta for that matter.  As I started my dough, I decided to add a little truffle salt and truffle oil.


2 Cups '00' flour
4 Eggs
3/4 tsp truffle salt
1 tsp truffle oil
On a large work surface, make a well with the flour.  Crack eggs into the middle, add truffle salt and oil.  Beat eggs, incorporating the flour as you go to eventually gather into solid ball of dough.  Scrape off any dried bits of flour that did not collect into the dough from the work surface.  Knead dough until it is smooth and has a nice sheen to it.  Separate into smaller balls, cutting it with a pastry scraper or knife.  I had a total of 18 I think, but mine were small.  You could go with a little larger, say 12 total.  


I used a pasta roller attachment for my kitchen aid standing mixer and rolled the dough to #5 thickness.  For the first setting, roll the ball out, fold the dough back onto itself, roll again, and repeat, so that you roll it on the first setting 3 times.  Roll out all of the balls first, then move onto the second setting.  Repeat until your desired thickness.
Let the sheets rest to dry a bit before cutting, otherwise it will stick together when you cut it.  It should still be pliable but not sticky. I used a spaghetti cutter attachment.
I used half for tonight and saved the other half for a later meal.


For the carbonara:
4 oz Pancetta, diced
2 small or 1 large egg, I used 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
1/4 cup grated parmesan 


Cook pancetta until crispy.  Reserve fat from the pancetta.
Beat the egg(s)
Cook pasta for about 90 seconds to 2 minutes.  Drain.
Place the drained pasta into a large bowl, add the egg and fat from the pancetta.  Toss then cover for a couple of minutes.  Then add in the pancetta and parmesan and toss to combine.
I served the pasta with a pan seared chicken thigh I had pounded flat and salt and peppered before cooking.  Fry the thighs skin side down first to render the fat and then flip over to brown the other side.  Remove excess oil from pan.  Deglaze pan with a little (a few tbsp) dry vermouth and then some (about 1/2 cup) chicken stock to make a quick sauce.  Add any juices that gather from the  chicken while it's resting.
For the Celery Root, Endive, Muscat Grape Salad:
1 Cup julienned celery root
1 Cup endive, sliced crosswise
1/4 Cup muscat grapes, halved
1/8 Cup crumbled blue cheese like Maytag Blue
2 Tbsp toasted pine nuts (I would have preferred hazelnuts, but none in my house)


3 Tbsp walnut oil
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp honey
freshly ground pepper


First toss the celery root with a little drizzle of the dressing.  Refrigerate for an hour or so.  Then toss remaining ingredients and dress as desired.
Pounding the chicken made for faster and even cooking.  Carbonara was a hit.  Truffle flavor was slight, but there.  The kids must have been starving as rave reviews were flying right and left.  

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