I had a birthday party yesterday which involved a fairly random decision to make Christmas pavlova — baked meringues with whipped cream and pomegranates — despite not my usually liking meringues; I had a bunch of pomegranates I felt should be eaten. They ended up being delicious as well as beautiful, and a festive treat indeed.
Making the meringues, since they involve egg whites, naturally left me with a bunch of egg yolks to decide what to do with. I realised that one can make pasta with egg yolks and a bit of water, so I’ve started in on my list rather earlier than I’d imagined. I looked at a few recipes, and this seemed to be the proportions:
– Four egg yolks, plus water to make it up to 1/2 cup.
– 2 cups / 9 oz. plain unbleached all-purpose flour (I prefer weighing to measuring by cup when baking, since I tend not to be very precise with volumetric measures but can manage accuracy with the scale).
– Pinch of salt.
All the pasta recipes appear to call for doing it on the table, with a well in the middle into which one pours the liquids — a method that, given my background, makes me think much more of northern bannock (something else I should make!) — then you mix it in from the outside with a fork.
And then, plenty of kneading. It’s a very stiff dough, so I put on Wicked and listened to several songs to get me over the hump of ten minutes staring out the window. I usually try music or phoning someone, because then I don’t think about the length of time. One trick I learned recently for kneading (bread) dough is that when it’s very tough, it’s worth pausing for a minute and letting the dough rest. Even with a non-yeast dough such as this, it seemed to help. Or perhaps my wrists just felt better.
As I was going out, I then let the dough sit in the fridge (wrapped in plastic wrap) for several hours. Upon coming back, I cut the dough into four pieces, and rolled out two of them as thinly as I could manage before cutting it into approximately pappardelle-sized strips. These I then hung over the back of the chair to dry:
And the verdict:
Well, on the whole, a success, though I have to say the flavour was good, but the texture was just on the good side of okay. I might try ravioli with the other half of the dough tomorrow, in the hopes I can roll it out more thinly than I managed for the pappardelle. And I might yet try gnocchi . . .