Fresh Pappardelle with Broccoli and Cheese Sauce
Either way, it was fresh and delicious and every bit as nice as the fresh pasta we’d had in Tuscany in March of 2008. I don’t think we’ll ever buy boxed pasta again! Now how do we get rid of the 5 lb. of dry pasta we bought from Costco a few weeks ago? Any takers?
- 4 large free-range or organic eggs
- 400 grams flour, plus extra for dusting
- Sea salt
For the cheese sauce:
- 3/4 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
- 1/4 cup whole milk ricotta
- 5 ounces sliced fontina or other nice melting cheese (I used Jarlsberg)
- 5 ounces freshly grated Parmesan
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound broccoli
- 2 large free-range or organic egg yolks
- 1 small bunch fresh marjoram, oregano or thyme tips, leaves picked (I used thyme)
- Freshly grated Parmesan, for serving
- Extra-virgin olive oil
Tip the dough mixture onto a floured surface and shape it into a ball using your hands. Give it a little knead until smooth, then divide your dough into 4 equal parts. Start on the thickest setting of your pasta machine and run the first bit of dough through 4 or 5 times, moving the rollers closer together each time until the pasta is silky, smooth and about as thick as a CD.
Flour your finished sheet generously, then fold it up and cut across into 1/2-inch strips. Gather all the slices together and toss them through your fingers, with a little flour, to open them up and make your pile of tagliatelle. Place to 1 side and repeat with the rest of the dough.
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. In a bowl large enough to rest on top of the pan, put your creme fraiche or sour cream, fontina or other melting cheese and your Parmesan with a pinch of salt and pepper. Place the bowl over the pan for the cheeses to slowly melt. It won’t take long.
Meanwhile, trim any dry ends off the broccoli, then finely slice the stalks diagonally and leave the florets whole (cutting any larger ones in half).
At this point the cheese sauce should be lovely and oozy, so remove the bowl from above the pan and drop the pasta and broccoli into the boiling water. Boil hard for 2 to 3 minutes, until the pasta is just cooked through.
Whip up the 2 egg yolks and the marjoram, or other chosen herb leaves, into the sauce. Drain the pasta and broccoli, reserving a little of the cooking water, and quickly toss them with the sauce – the heat from the pasta will be enough to cook the eggs through. If the sauce is a little thick, add a few splashes of cooking water to make it silky and loose. Taste and season, if necessary.
Serve as quickly as you can, with some extra Parmesan sprinkled over the top and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.