Saturday, December 11, 2010

Under-rated things: fresh pasta, fresh pesto & Barossa semillon

Some nights, some dinners, are good reminders of how much pleasure there are in simple foods and under-rated wines. Fresh pasta is an easy and fast thing to make, once you have the hang of it. I work on 100g flour and one egg per person, whizzing the ball of dough together in the food processor, resting it in the fridge for 20 minutes, then putting through my simple pasta machine for kneading and cutting. This time, fettuccine (with some extra egg yolks snuck in). While the water for the pasta is coming up to the boil, make simple pesto: a bunch of basil, 75g or so of pinenuts, garlic all into the blender, whiz while adding olive oil, finish it off with grated parmesan and any salt you need.

Cook the fresh pasta quickly in the biggest pot you have (I use an 11 litre stock pot for most pasta), drain not quite completely and mix in the fresh pesto (off the heat - direct heat is pesto kryptonite). A bit more cheese if you wish, and some flaked salt are all you need for serving. Oh, and a glass of something similarly under-rated, like a 2006 Rockfords Growers Semillon (Barossa Valley). Still acid line to show, but age in the colour and palate weight, plus attractive lemon and butter smells. Goes well with the nuts and cheese in the sauce, with enough weight to match, yet acid to cut, freshen and agree with the light freshness of the home-made fettuccine.

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