On the Menu recipe: Whisknladle’s Wild Prawns with Cuttlefish Ink Tagliatelle, Uni Saffron Creme, Fresno Chiles and Fava Leaves
16/20 prawns, peeled and deveined with tail attached (available at Catalina Offshore or Pacific Shellfish)
6-7 ounces fava leaves, picked from the stem (available at Chino’s Farm)
1 each Fresno chiles, thinly sliced into rounds and seeded
1 each shallot, peeled and thinly sliced into rounds
3 each garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups Uni Saffron Creme (recipe below)
1# Cuttlefish Ink pasta (recipe below)
For the Dish
In a large saute pan slowly heat the butter with the garlic and cook on medium-low until you can smell the garlic. Add the chiles, shallots and shrimp and cook on medium-low until shrimp are nearly cooked (no transluscence in the largest part of the tail). Add the fava leaves and toss together. Boil the pasta in very well salted water for 3-4 minutes, remove and drain well. Place directly into the pan with the shrimp and chiles, and toss well. Add the uni creme and mix, taste for salt. Serve on a large pasta platter with pasta as the base and garnished with the prawns, chiles, leaves and sauce on top.
For the Uni Sauce
3 ounces Uni or Vana (Catalina Offshore or Better Halfshell)
1 tablespoon saffron
2 cups whole cream
1/2 cup white wine, fit for cooking
2 tablespoons honey
1 each shallot, peeled and chopped
1 each garlic clove, peeled and crushed
2 tablespoons butter
Sherry vinegar and salt to taste
Lightly saute shallot and garlic, deglaze with honey and reduce for 3 minutes. Add wine and reduce by half. Add cream and season with salt, reduce by 1/4.
Remove from heat, add uni and saffron and allow to steep for 10 minutes. Add to blender and puree, seasoning with sherry vinegar and salt to taste. Keep warm until ready to use.
For the Pasta
1# Semolina flour (or durum flour, often at Henry’s or grocery store with a good bulk foods section)
¼-pound all-purpoe flour
4 egg yolks
1 ounce Cuttlefish ink (from Catalina Offshore, Pacific Shellfish, good fish or Italian market)
2 fluid ounces warm water
You’ll also need a pasta-rolling machine with cutting attachments.
In a medium mixing bowl combine flours and create a bowl shaped well in the center. Separately, combine the eggs, ink and water, mix well and pour into the well. With the tips of two or three fingers, stir the mix, slowly incorporating more and more flour. When all the flour is incorporated take the dough out of the bowl and knead aggressively for 4-5 minutes, turning the dough a quarter each time, folding it, pressing it, turning again and repeating. Allow the dough to rest for one hour or overnight.
When shaping, roll the dough out as thin as possible, run through the sheeter until the desired thickness and run through the cutter for desired width for the pasta. Toss with some excess flour and hold in refrigerator until ready to use.
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