This is part two of my first fresh pasta making experience, you can read about making the pasta dough in my previous post.
After all that hard work, I had built up an appetite and was famished! I decided to give the fettuccine a light treatment because I really wanted to be able to taste the noodles to evaluate my performance and didn't want a heavy sauce to obscure the pasta. Since pasta is so versatile, there are thousands of potential variations. If you go to the trouble of making the fresh pasta, make sure you dress it well!
I had added freshly ground black pepper to my pasta dough so that it already had a little perky kick to it. The weather in New York was unseasonably warm this weekend-- it felt like May! So, I was craving a spring-like treatment to complement the freshness of the pasta. This recipe REALLY worked. I was exhausted but so happy that it turned out great.
The arugula picks up and plays on the black pepper as I intended. The red pepper flakes continue the theme with a little more zip and pop. But, it's not fiery or hot at all, it's just got three kinds of peppery zing for depth. I added tomatoes and lemons for acid to cut the bite and added porcini mushrooms for a little body and texture so it was a meal rather than a snack. The lemon zest and parmigiano reggiano add salty and fresh touches. The pasta itself came out perfectly. It was thin and delicate and softly structured. I was shocked, given how much I struggled with the dough. I really thought it would be chewy and rubbery. It was perfect ribbons that tasted so wholesome. This recipe is really excellent. I would be thrilled if you make (or buy) fresh fettuccine and let me know what you think of my "Black Pepper Fettucine with Lemon, Arugula and Porcini Mushrooms."
Serves 4 as entree or 6 as appetizer
3/4 lb. fresh fettuccine
1 T. sea salt
1/4 c. dried porcini mushrooms
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 clove garlic
2 fresh, ripe plum tomatoes
1/2 small onion
1 clove garlic
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 lemon, zested and cut in half for juice
5-6 T. extra virgin olive oil, high quality
1/4 c. parmigiano reggiano cheese, grated
1/4 c. fresh arugula, washed and chopped
1. Bring a very large stockpot of water to boil on your largest burner. Use the pasta insert if you have one. While you're waiting for the water, prep and chop all the vegetables.
2. Put the dried mushrooms, 1/2 clove garlic and kosher salt in a small bowl. Bring a kettle of water to boil and pour over the mushrooms, letting them steep to re-constitute for about 20 minutes. Drain and chop the mushrooms roughly.
3. When water is up to boil and the mushrooms are done, in a large skillet heat 3 T. of olive oil on medium heat. Saute the garlic and onion, stirring for a couple of minutes until the onion turns transluscent. Add the tomatoes, the red pepper flakes and squeeze the lemons and their juice into the skillet. Stir thoroughly.
4. At this point, the water should be boiling. Add the sea salt to the boiling water and gently lower the fresh fettuccine into the water. It will only take 1-2 minutes and is done when the pasta begins floating toward the surface of the water.
5. Add the arugula and lemon zest to the sauce and stir to incorporate. Cook another minute or so until the pasta is done.
6. Pull the pasta out of the water with the basket or strain it in a colander. Add the pasta directly into the skillet with the sauce and toss gently with a pair of tongs. Add the grated parmigiano reggiano cheese, sprinkle another 2-3 T. olive oil over the pasta and toss lightly. Use the tongs to plate the pasta and garnish with a little more cheese, lemon zest and arugula if desired. Serve immediately.
I hope you enjoy it as much as we did at Scrumptious Street!