A visit to NSW regional area this month included a cooking class at FoodIAm. The cookery school is in a terrific rural setting, the building contemporary but with design nods – like corrugated iron – to country Australia. Most importantly the class is informative and cheerful, hands on and delicious. Here’s the recipe for the spaghetti I made. The images are of this dish that I made in the class.
Whispering Pines Spaghetti alla Guitarra with local Zucchini, Peas and Harefield Pistachio
For the mint oil:
3 bunches fresh mint
neutral oil (e.g. sunflower or grapeseed)
Wash mint, shake dry and remove the stems . Blanch mint leaves in boiling water for 10 seconds, pour off the water and immediately chill in ice water to keep its green color. Pour off the water and press the liquid out of the mint leaves. Weigh the mint and the double amount of neutral oil (grapeseed oil works nice). Puree with a blender, cover and let stand for at least 4 hours or overnight. Strain through a coffee filter and reserve the oil in a small squeeze bottle. Tip: The oil keeps its color longer when kept in the freezer.
For the Spaghetti alla Guitarra:
200g parsley, flat leaf (or spinach powder)
1000gn Whispering Pines Organic Flour
Wash parsley and remove the stems. Blanch parsley leaves in boiling water for 10 seconds, pour of the water and immediately chill in ice water to keep its green color. Pour off the water and press the liquid out of the parsley leaves. Coarsely chop parsley, spread on paper towel and leave to dry for some minutes at room temperature. Blend the eggs with the parsley. Put the flour in a bowl, (if using spinach powder, add this now to the flour and omit the parsley) form a trough in the middle and add the egg, and pinch of salt. Knead until a pliable dough forms. Depending on the water content of the blanched and dried parsley you might need to add some additional flour to the pasta dough. Wrap in clingfilm and let the dough rest in the fridge for at least half an hour. On a floured surface roll out the pasta dough very thin using a rolling pin or pasta machine to about 2mm thick. Cut into lengths and let rest to dry a little. Roll the pasta on a guitarra and let rest until needed.
For the Pistachio Crumble
200g crusty Artisan Baker sourdough bread
50ml olive oil
2 lemon rinds
300g Harefield pistachio
Roughly tear the bread and place on an oven tray. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven at 150 degrees until crispy. Roast the Pistacchio until crunchy. Using a blender or pestle and mortar, crush the bread and pistachio together to make a crumble. Add the lemon rind.
For the Sauce:
2 chili pepper, green
5 limes, juiced
200ml Little General olive oil, slightly peppery
½ cup vegetable stock
Pinch of sugar
Using a kitchen plane slice the zucchini into long 1mm thin strips. Wash chili pepper, remove seeds and membranes and chop the flesh into small cubes. Gently mix the zucchini strips with the chili cubes, lime juice, peppery olive oil, pinch of sugar and salt. Cover with clingfilm and leave in the fridge for 2-3 hours. At serving heat covered in 80°C warm oven.
Blanch peas in boiling salted water for 30 seconds. Pour of the water and immediately transfer peas to ice water. When chilled, pour off the water and drain peas well in a sieve. At serving toss blanched snap peas, in foaming butter. Glaze with 3-4 tbsp vegetable stock and season with salt and pepper.
Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water for 1- 2 minutes. In a saucepan heat the butter until just faming and have it ready. On a warm plate place 4-6 strips of marinated zucchini and 1 tbsp warmed peas. Once the pasta is cooked, toss in the butter and take off the heat and add a little mint oil. Place some pasta ontop of the zucchini and sprinkle with some crumble, mint oil and a little butter left in the pan.