FETTUCCINE WITH CILANTRO-TOMATILLO PESTO

Homemade Fettuccine

  • 2.5 cups of flour
  • 4 eggs (start with three—it depends on size of egg and density of flour)
  • 1 tbs of oil (add more if too dry)
  • 1 tsp salt

making pasta.jpg

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until a ball forms, or it at least clumps up a bit.  If too dry and no ball forms, add some more oil.  This most recent time, it didn’t become one ball as it sometimes has in the past, but formed a dough when pinched, so I turned it over onto a floured surface, and kneaded it until it came together.  Then need the ball for 15 minutes.  It will be tough and possibly hurt your wrist, but eventually the texture will end up soft and smooth, like playdough.  It’s important to create this light texture, otherwise the pasta will be heavy and gummy.  Wrap dough tightly in Saran wrap and let rest for between twenty minutes and one hour.

I recommend making the pasta to this point, and then working on the cilantro tomatillo pesto.  And then finishing the pasta after the sauce is done.

Then to the pasta maker.  Dived the dough into 8 pieces.  Working with on ball at a time, pat into a sort of rectangularish shape, and feed through pasta maker on largest setting, for me, it is 7.  Add a little flour to each side of pasta as needed.  Fold the sheet in thirds, rotate (so you aren’t trapping any air bubbles in), and run the dough through setting 7 again.  Repeat this two or three more times (so you have done it four times), this is the last step in kneading the dough.  Run the dough through settings 5, 3, and finally 2, remembering to add a little flour to each side if the dough starts pulling.  

making pasta 2.jpg

Using a pair of scissors, cut your sheet of pasta in half, give a nice sprinkle of flour to each side of the sheet, and then run it through the fettuccine cutter.  Lay pasta flat on a lightly floured cookie sheet, and sprinkle with just a little more flour to keep them from sticking, and cover loosely with plastic wrap.  Do the second half of the first ball, then nest your first batch of fettuccine (probably about two minutes of resting flat before nesting).  Repeat with remaining balls of dough.

making pasta 3

Cook immediately in a large pot of salted water, or to save for later: let rest for 30 minutes, and put in a ziplock bag.  Refrigerate for up to two days, or freeze for up to three months.  The pasta is done cooking when it floats, usually between 2 and 5 minutes; strain and set aside.  When I had a dinner party last night, I made the pasta in the afternoon, and refrigerated the pasta for a couple of hours while I did other preparations, and enjoyed a glass of wine with my guests before my husband cooked the pasta up for us. 

cooked pasta.jpg

 


 

Cilantro-Tomatillo Pesto

tomatillo pesto

  • 1 1/2 Lbs Tomatillos
  • 1 Jalapeño
  • 1/2 of a Small Red Onion
  • 6-8 Cloves of Garlic
  • 1/2 Cup of Almond Slivers or Slices (or whatever almonds you like to use, I used these so there wouldn’t be color from the skins)
  • 1 Bunch of Cilantro (I get two at the grocery store just in case I taste it and want to add another half of a bundle), large stems removed
  • Juice of 1 lime (again, I always get one or two extra in case I decide I want more acidity)
  • 1 Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan or Pecorino Cheese
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or more, depending on how you like the consistency)
  • Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Cut the tomatillos, red onion and seeded jalapeño into about 1/2” pieces, and sauté in a large pan with 6 smashed garlic cloves until there is a little color on the pepper and the onions.  Set aside to cool.

almonds

Toast your almonds: place in a dry pan over medium heat, stirring frequently until lightly browned.

Place  the cilantro, almonds, jalapeño, onion, most of the tomatillos (reserve about 1/3 of the tomatillos), garlic, cheese, olive oil and lime juice into a food processor and blend until smooth.

Taste.  What does it need?  When I made this last night, I tasted it and decided to add a little salt and pepper, and I wanted just a little more heat.  I added two or three more cloves of raw garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes, and another half bundle of cilantro.  Depending on the day, sometimes I want to add a little more lime juice.  Some people like a thinner pesto, in which case you would want to add more olive oil.  I may have added more cheese as well.  Mmm….cheese….

It’s rare that I find a recipe online that is exactly to my liking.  Be sure to taste while you cook, and work on balancing flavors to your preference.

Right, we still have to finish cooking.  Add the pesto to the remaining tomatillos, and toss with fresh fettuccine.  Serve with a salad.  I have also served it with this Rick Bayless recipe for Grilled Asparagus with Creamy Pasilla Chile, which is nice because it puts some more color on the plate.

tomatilla cilantro pesto.jpg

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