molly on the range goes to print today. hallelujah! all of my fears about typos and clarity were at an all time high this week. i started to second guess some things that i thought were funny when i first wrote them and wondered if they weren't funny at all. at first i thought, well, nothing is funny after you've read it 5,000 times. but then i realized that pitch perfect 2 is still funny after watching it 5,000 times. so that's what kept me up at night this week. i started drafting answers to questions that i'm afraid people will ask when the book comes out, in case they don't understand things. i'm probably being silly, or maybe i'm just paranoid because i'm extraordinarily sleep deprived. but in general i am very excited to be one step closer to have all of my favorite recipes in a physical object that i can splatter paint with soy sauce, give as gifts, and just pet like a small animal.
the one other thing that kept me up at night this week was tel aviv nightlife. i cashed in all of my frequent flier miles for a little college reunion with brian and rob, my bridesmen, and we did some of the best most shameless dancing we've ever done. (it was probably more like stylized jumping than dancing, but whatever.) what i like about the dancing in tel aviv is that you don't have to get dressed up or wait on a long dumb line, there's just an abundance of chill bars with chill humans that aren't overcrowded and which happen to have great djs in one section where you can dance like tomorrow is the end of the world if you want. (fave spots: sputnik, radio, and kuli ama.) it was such a great time! but now i'm so happy to be home, right in time for wheat harvest! and also our garden is like whazzup!
in the summer i love fresh pasta with just fresh herbs, olive oil, and lemon. leave the heavy sauce for sweater weather, these days i'm all about things from the garden tossed about and served next to a sausage or vegetable from the grill. my little macaroni eggs (well, now they are big macaroni, as you can see!) make this pasta so beautiful and yellow, and i'm using the fresh pasta recipe from my friend emiko's stunning new book, florentine (i'm giving away a copy of it over here, btw). the pasta is surprisingly easy to make and totally luxurious, but if you're short on time or just can't be bothered to get out your pasta maker, the combination of flavors here is still worth ripping apart your mint plant for. it's a combination i cannot get enough of these days: feta, mint, olive oil, nuts, spicy stuff, and either a fresh squeeze of lemon or chopped preserved lemon (which lends a funkier pickle-y flavor that i love, just make sure to rinse them otherwise this will be too salty). it's sort of like a deconstructed pesto situation that's just gotten back from summer vacation in morocco. i'm using preserved lemons from trader joe's, but you can also make your own. and california olive ranch's rich and robust olive oil is my go-to for this since its oomph factor can really hang well with the strong personalities of feta and lemon.
this is a pasta i would gain 300 pounds for, fyi.
preserved lemon pappardelle with fried pine nuts, feta, and mint
1 lb pappardelle (store bought or use emiko’s recipe, below)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c raw pine nuts
4 slices preserved lemon, rinsed and finely chopped
1 c lightly packed fresh mint, chopped
1 c crumbled feta
Crushed red pepper
bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it ferociously, and cook the pasta according to the manufacturer’s directions.
While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until a drop of water sizzles when flicked across the surface. Add the garlic and pine nuts and cook, stirring, until they’re lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the preserved lemon and half the mint and cook, stirring, for another 1-2 minutes. Add the cooked pasta to the pan, reduce the heat to low, and toss the pasta to coat it evenly in the mixture. Give it like 20 turns of black pepper. Top it with the remaining fresh mint, the feta, and a few pinches of crushed red pepper. Serve immediately and enjoy.
from emiko davies' book florentine
200g plain flour
200g semolina, plus extra for dusting
Sift the flour and semolina onto a flat work surface and create a well in the middle with your hands. Crack the eggs into the well. Gently beat the eggs with a fork in a circular motion until they become creamy. Begin incorporating the flour and semolina little by little until it becomes too difficult to use the fork and then gather the dough with your hands. Knead for about 10 minutes or until it becomes elastic. Let the dough rest, covered so it does not dry out, for at least 30 minutes.
Divide the dough into two or three portions. With a pasta rolling machine or a rolling pin on a floured surface, roll out the dough until about 1 mm thick or until you can see your fingers through the other side. If rolling by hand, roll from the centre outwards.
The noodles should be cut to about 2–2.5 cm wide. Fold the dough lengthways over itself three or four times (dust with semolina between each fold so they do not stick) and then cut across the short side of the folded pasta. Use a sharp knife for a straight edge or a fluted pastry wheel cutter for a ruffled effect (good for catching sauce). Unroll the pasta, shaking it out, dust generously with semolina and shape into little ‘nests’ of equal portions – 100 g is equal to one serving. Cover under a dish towel or plastic wrap until ready to use.
Cook the pasta in boiling, salted water for about 3-5 minutes, or until silky and cooked al dente.
thank you, california olive ranch, for sponsoring this post!