1. Photo Credit: Alexandra Grablewski

    Paul Lowe, known to most of you as Sweet Paul, has just released his first cooking + crafting book state-side. Paul is a friend, collaborator and most of all a mentor. Eat & Make is full of simple and delicious recipes, tasteful DIY ideas, and luscious photographs.

    It is so inspiring, after finally getting myself a copy last night, I nearly started making his “World’s Best Cake" at one-o’clock this morning. And his roasted chicken with olives and lemon is on the menu for dinner tonight!

    Lucky for you, I’m giving away a copy!

    For a chance to win your free copy of Sweet Paul Eat & Make, simply send an email with your full name to sweetpaulgiveaway@yahoo.com. Entries will be accepted  until Thursday, April 10th, Midnight, EST. The name will be chosen at random. The winner will be contacted via email. *The giveaway is now closed. Entries will no longer be accepted.

    If you can’t possibly wait to get your hands on this gorgeous book, you can get yourself a copy wherever books are sold. Everything about Sweet Paul Eat & Make is breathtaking, trust me, you need one!

    In the meantime, Paul has generously shared his favorite pasta recipe from the book; a perfect carbonara with a touch of Spring. My personal favorite weekend breakfast pasta.

    Excerpted from SWEET PAUL, © 2014 by Paul Lowe Einlyng. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

    Spaghetti Carbonara

    Serves 4

    With simple cooking, it’s all about the ingredients. For my carbonara, I like to use farm-fresh eggs, which make this dish shine. Their yolks are a deep orange, versus the pale yellow of most grocery-store eggs. If you have a local egg farm or farmers’ market, try fresh eggs for yourself. The peas add a nice hint of color.

    Salt

    7 ounces bacon, cut into 12-inch dice

    1 pound spaghetti

    1 cup heavy cream

    4 large egg yolks

    2 cups freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving

    1cup frozen green peas, thawed

    1teaspoon freshly ground pepper

     1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

    2. Meanwhile, heat a medium skillet over medium heat and cook the bacon until crispy, turning occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Set aside.

    3. Cook the spaghetti in the boiling water, stirring occasionally, according to the package directions, until al dente. Drain.

    4. While the pasta is cooking, mix the cream, egg yolks, Parmesan, peas, 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, and the pepper in a large bowl.

    5. Add the hot pasta to the cream mixture and toss well. Mix in the bacon and serve immediately with extra Parmesan.

     
  2. The making of Ramp Pasta. Behind the scenes shooting Sweet Paul Magazine Spring Issue. Get the recipe here. A collaboration with food stylist, Chelsea Zimmer.

     
  3. while I don’t support, nor do I cook with barilla… nicholas blechman put together a beautiful illustration of their production. published in the NYT.

     
  4. Now that you are an expert on egg dough. Make pappardelle. I like to score it with a knife then tear. Irregularity is the beauty of handmade pasta. More tearing just allow more places for the sauce to grab on.

     
  5. The Perfect Egg Dough

    My first attempt at fresh pasta was an egg dough. After all, it is THE dough for fresh pasta. At least that’s what google tells me. And it’s “simple”. Just wazz it all up in your food processor and your good to go. There are a million recipes to choose from with varying amounts of salt, olive oil, water, egg yolks, whole eggs, AP flour, 00 flour, semolina… for something so simple, the variations are seemingly endless. 

    My first attempt at an egg dough was a complete flop. So was the 50th. It was always too tough to work with. No matter what recipe I tried. Sure I could put together a dough that was tasty enough, but I hadn’t found the right one.

    Finally last year, I studied pasta in Bologna, the center for fresh pasta in Italy. The Bolognese egg dough is like a pillow. So soft and easy to work with, the perfect bite; everything about it is ideal. 

    The recipe is simple, straight forward, and never fails:

    per person, 100g 00 flour, 60g liquid (egg + warm water if needed)

    As in all things Italian, you must use the best ingredients you can find.

    The only flour to consider is 00 flour. Period.

    You want your eggs to be big and fresh with bright orange yolks. In Italy there are eggs at the market specifically for pasta.  The closest I’ve been able to find in the States are Pete & Gerry’s beautiful blue Heirloom Eggs (available at Whole Foods). Sometimes even these beauties aren’t equal to 60g each, so just add warm water until you get there. I prefer to use the fontana method pictured here, but you can definitely use your food processor… if you must. But honestly, we aren’t making fresh pasta every day, pour yourself a nice glass of wine, and do it slowly, at a moment when you have the time. It’s a beautiful process, I promise you’ll enjoy it more this way.

    Weigh the flour. Pour it directly onto your work surface. Burrow a hole in the middle— deeper rather than wider, go all the way to the surface so the walls are as high as they can be.

    Measure your liquid and carefully place it in the middle. Using a fork, with care, beat the eggs. Once they are combined as you would do for an omelet, begin to grab a little flour at a time from the edges, and continue to whisk. Repeat this process of incorporating a little flour at time and slowly but surely you will end up with a gloppy egg mixture that begins to pull away from the surface and is now too thick to beat. At this point, you are done with the fork. Roll up your sleeves, grab a pastry scraper and with confidence, starting at the bottom of the flour, scrape up through to the top, to clean any wet ingredients from the surface. Use the scraper to mix further, continuing to scrape the surface and mashing up the pieces of the dough. Once you can bring it together with your hands, do so, set it aside and clean off your surface and your hands. You don’t want all those small, dry bits of dough in your pasta. They will only keep the final dough from being as even and smooth as possible.

    Now, you knead. Set yourself up with a finger bowl of warm water— I personally also like to have a water spray bottle on hand. As you knead, midway through, the dough may become drier and harder to work with, as it will be exposed to the air for quite a while. If this happens, simply dip your fingers in the water and continue kneading. Dip too much? Sprinkle with a little more flour. It’s important to remember not to have the dough covered with flour, however tempting it may be. Unless it’s sticking to your hands or your work surface, you shouldn’t add any. You want to have traction when kneading, and more flour will just have you slipping and sliding all over your work surface and create a rock hard dough.

    Please be aware, weather can play a part in this too. If it’s very warm and humid you will need less liquid. As the amount is difficult to determine, it’s easier to just sprinkle a bit more flour incorporating slowly as you go if necessary.

    Don’t strangle the dough, massage it using the palm of your hand. Not sure what I mean? Watch this master Nonna, starting at 3:10. She is working with the gloriously simple semolina + water dough, but the kneading technique is universal. You can learn everything I know about that dough here.

    Knead for 10-15 minutes. How can you tell when you’re done? Take a chef’s knife and slice the dough directly down the middle. If you see air bubbles, keep going (the one pictured needs 3 more minutes or so).  What you want in the end is a seamless, smooth dough inside and out. When it’s ready, cover it with cling wrap and leave it out to rest for at least 30 minutes. If you will not roll out the dough within an hour or so, put it the fridge. It will keep for 3 days. When you are going to use it, leave it out for at least 30 minutes so it can come to room temperature. It will make your life much easier.

    At this point you are ready to make tagliatelle, pappardelle, lasagna, filled pasta and more!

     
  6. Arancini

    (makes 10-12)

    leftover Risotto Milanese (up to 3 days old)

    1 block of Melville

    zest of one lemon

    3 cups of breadcrumbs

    1 egg, beaten

    canola oil for frying

    1. Prepare your ingredients: one egg beaten in a small plate or bowl, 1 c breadcrumbs on a plate with the rest nearby to replenish, one block of Melville cheese covered in lemon zest, cut into 1 inch cubes and your leftover risotto with a large spoon.

    2. Scoop out one large spoon of risotto, using your hands shape it into a ball. With two fingers burrow out a hole in the middle, place a cube of Melville covered in lemon zest inside, and close the hole with risotto, adding a little more if necessary to ensure the cheese is secured inside. Roll the ball in the egg, then in the breadcrumbs. Be sure it is covered completely with breadcrumbs. Repeat until you’ve used all the risotto.

    3. Fill a large pot with canola oil, just deep enough to cover the arancini, approximately 4 inches. Heat on high until you reach 350 degrees F, then lower the flame to medium/medium-high to keep the temperature stable.

    4. In pairs, fry the arancini, turning regularly while in the oil so they cook evenly. Fry until crispy and browned, 1-2 minutes. Using a spider, drain and place onto a plate lined with paper towels. Check the temperature of the oil to ensure it’s still at 350 to 400 degrees F, then fry the next two.  Repeat until all the arancini are fried.

    Serve warm or at room temperature for aperitivo along side some extra squares of Melville covered in lemon zest with a crisp white wine.

     
  7. Risotto Milanese

    serves 2-4 with leftovers for arancini, arancini recipe coming soon…

    3 T extra virgin olive oil

    ½ a Spanish onion, diced

    1 t + 1 pinch salt

    2 ½ c carnaroli rice

    1 c dry white wine

    8 c homemade chicken broth

    1 t saffron

    2 T unsalted butter

    1 c grated parmigiano reggiano + more for serving

    1. In a large pot, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add onion and a pinch of salt. Cook until translucent, 4-5 minutes. Set broth to simmer on another burner.

    2. Add rice to the pot with oil and onion, then toast for 1 minute, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Turn heat to medium high, and add the wine. Keep stirring. Cook until alcohol has evaporated, a minute or two, then begin to ladle in the hot broth.

    3. In a small mug place the saffron and one ladle of hot broth. Cover and set aside to steep.

    4. Continue stirring and adding broth as necessary. Do not bathe the rice.  You must wait for it to ask you for more liquid; when you hear the rice slurping off the bottom of the pot as your stir, this is when you add more broth. Total cooking time once you begin adding broth should be approximately 20 minutes. When the broth is finished, add the broth you have aside steeped with saffron and 1 t salt (if you are using a well salted broth, you may consider using less salt here). Stir to incorporate thoroughly, then turn off the flame, cover and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

    5. Add butter and grated parmigiano reggiano, stir to incorporate thoroughly and until the butter has melted, taste for salt, and adjust as necessary.

    6. Serve topped with more grated parmigiano reggiano.

    Make arancini with your leftovers!

     
  8. I’m on Yahoo Food talking about pasta! Click through to read the full article. Many thanks to food editor Julia Bainbridge.

     
  9. Tortellone di Zucca

    serves 4

    Filling:

    1 kabocha squash, quartered, seeds cleaned out, roasted dry at 350 F for one hour (sub butternut squash/acorn squash/pumpkin/sweet potato)

    1/3 of a nutmeg, 1 all spice berry, 1/4 of a star anise, 1 inch of a cinnamon stick; all ground together in a spice grinder

    1/2 c honey

    1/2 c grated parmigiano reggiano

    salt to taste

    Pasta:

    400g tipo 00 flour

    240g liquid (4 eggs + water to reach 240g)

    Sauce:

    20 sage leaves

    6 T butter

    grated parmigiano reggiano for topping

    1. Make the pasta dough by hand or if you must, use a food processor until it comes together. Bring onto a work surface lightly dusted with flour and knead until there are no air bubbles when cut down the center (you want a smooth dough, inside and out). Keep a finger bowl of water + a little extra flour nearby if you need to adjust, but this recipe is usually the perfect amount from the start (weather permitting; i.e. as long as it’s not very hot + humid).  Cover the dough and allow to rest for 30 minutes. 2. Spoon out squash filling + discard the skin, and pulse all filling ingredients in a food processor until combined. Taste and adjust as necessary to your liking. 3. If using a pasta machine, roll out dough to the thinnest setting, cut 3”x 3” squares. Place a large spoon of filling at the center of each square, fold in half to make a triangle, pressing all around to secure the filling. Then bring the two bottom points together, pressing until there is no seam left. Place on a sheet pan covered in a kitchen cloth, dusted with flour and continue until all the dough is finished. While forming the tortellone, get a large pot of salted water boiling. (You will only use 1/2 the filling. Freeze the remainder for your next batch, add chicken stock to it to make a soup, or double the pasta dough, use it all. I like to freeze half the tortellone for a lazy day) 4. When ready to eat, boil tortellone for 4-6 minutes (once they start floating, they still need another 2-3 minutes, i suggest tasting one before bringing them all out to be sure). Reserve at least one mug of pasta water and drain the pasta. 5. Add butter and sage to the same pot, throw in a large splash of pasta water, then the tortellone. Stir on high heat with a wooden spoon until the butter and pasta water have reduced to a glaze and all the pasta is glistening with it. Add more pasta water if necessary. 6. Serve on warm plates, covered in grated parmigiano reggiano.

    PASTA TIP: Normally its best to do this with friends and family, the more hands the merrier. If you are few or doing this alone, have a water spray bottle nearby to mist the already-flattened dough occasionally while forming the tortellone, this way you’re sure the dough will not dry out!

     
  10. follow my daily pasta makings on instagram, @lindapugliese.