Φίλιππος Στέφανος

Nocturnal Inclination

Nerdkram, Internethumor und der ganzen Rest.

Pasta (Cacio e Pepe, Aglio e Olio, Olive Tortellini)

Recently I got more into making pasta again. Unfortunately my pasta machine broke, so I have to do the kneading myself.

Cacio e Pepe

Inspired by Alex French Guy Cooking I set out to make Cacio e Pepe on a Sunday night.

Following the "recipe" of Basics with Babish I cracked two eggs into a 405 wheat flour mold whisked and kneaded away for about 10 minutes watching Youtube. Let it rest for 45min then roll, fold and roll thin. Cut them into almost-spaghetti with a large knife. I had the idea of using corn starch to prevent the finished pasta from sticking and that worked perfectly. I really like the non-stick feel of corn starch. I'm going to continue using it for making pasta.

I boiled them a little too long (heavy salted water) while I roasted pepper corns in a saute pan. This smells awesome and is definitely a keeper. Gets out the aroma nicely. Ground them in a morar, ground some cheddar (unfortunately the only block cheese I had available) and combined everything in a non-stick pan and mixed it using chopsticks with some noodle-water. The corn starch coating pays off. Inspired by the follow-up video I mixed some starch in cold water and added it together with the noodle water, because I was too lazy to boild extra noodles to enrich the noodle with starch. This worked pretty well, even though its not the pure way of doing it. The starch stuck pretty badly to the chopsticks, I have to think about this.

I really liked the simplicty of the recipe and the creamyness of the sauce despite the lack of oil/cream. But the cheese just wasn't right. The pasta continued to cook in the mixing pan and was not al-dente. Better pepper would be a nice bonus too. So next time: 00-flour, italian cheese, high quality pepper!

Aglio e Olio

Intrigued by the success of the previous day, I just made pasta again on the next day. This time Binging with Babish's Aglio e Olio.

I freestyled the pasta dough again, I don't really think measring the flour makes a lot of sense here. All eggs are different, one should just practice to do it by feel of the dough. Rest for 45min, cut into thicker, linguini style noodles.

Meanwhile I cut up some 6 cloves of garlic into thin slices, chopped two hands full of fresh parsly and one of out home grown habaneros. While under cooking the pasta (salt water) I fried the garlic in a saute pan (for the stick aroma) in some good 2–3cm of olive oil. Silly enough I confused the flame control for pasta and pan and had the oil on max temperature while the water got low heat. That browned the garlic fast, but I took it off the flame just in time for it not too be ruined.

Just as with the Cacoio e Pepe I didn't use a sieve but noodle tongs to retrieve the pasta, having them coatet in starch water that mixed nicely with the oil. Added the parsly, habanero and half a lemon. Ground pepper and salt. After tasting I thought it needed more lemon and chili, so I added the second half and some dried chili.

I was really surprised by the dish. Babish did not lie, this was fucking good. I just overdid it with the lemon. Also I have the feeling that not eating it immediatley but letting it rest for 5 minutes brings out the aroma better and makes the sauce creamier.

Next time: slow-frie the garlic, less lemon, 00 flour. Maybe try and toast the pepper again. Damn I can't wait. The fried garlic ist just so damn good.

Olive Tortellini

Inspired by the bruschetta from the October dinner menu I wanted to try my luck with tortellini for this weeks Pasta sunday. Pasta dough as usual but I used fluor for non-stick, not corn starch, which was a mistake. To floury on the outside!

In a mixer I blended a full glass of green olives without kernels, 2 cloves of garlic, one slice of cheese, two large mushrooms salt, pepper, thyme and rosemary.

I tried to roll the dough as thinly as possible but its just really hard to get it even and see-through-thin with a rolling pin. Maybe try a french rolling pin some time. But the pieces got not very even in size or thickness. I was aming for some six by six centimeter pieces.

Placing roughly a teaspoon of stuffing on each square and folding like in this (suboptimal) video. Maybe wet the edges next time for better stick.

For the sauce I quickly prepared some blonde roux by melting butter in a pot and adding flour while whisking, gradually adding milk until the texture is thick and creamy.

In the end I was not so happy with the tortellini. They were the hell of an efford to make and did not taste too nice. Especially if compared with the other two home made pasta dishes. The stuffing was nice and works well as a spread, but nothing special. You could not taste the mushrooms at all. Maybe saute them first or just have them in the sauce. I don't think I will do this again until I have a working pasta machine, that should fix the uneven cook.