★ ★ ★ – Phil Vettel


Pasta 101 Class Recap & Recipes

As promised we are back to share some insights and recipes from our very first cooking class, Pasta 101. In this class Chef Dan Pancake took participant through a hands on journey in making fresh pasta, cutting noodles, filling a ravioli style pasta and making a few simple summer sauces. After the students were finished with their time in the kitchen, they moved to the dining room to enjoy the fruits of their labor as cooked for them by Dan. Paired with Med wines selected by owner and wine director John Aranza it was the perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon. As we are in the height of tomato season, we thought we would share with you a basic pasta dough recipe and a toasted garlic, tomato sauce that showcases the height of Italian simplicity and yields a delicious dish. We have been making this all summer with tomatoes from the Greenhouse, Cakeridge Farms and the local farmers market. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Making Pasta from Scratch

Making pasta dough from scratch is quick and produces excellent results. There are several variables that affect the final product:
? Flour type and grind
? Eggs (whole, yolks)
? Ambient conditions in the kitchen
? Additives to the pasta dough (spinach, beet, etc…)
The most critical variable is flour. At Autre Monde, we use only Farina “00”, which is a hard, Winter durham type wheat flour. The “00” refers to the size of the grind, and is the finest flour available. Ours is imported from Italy, and can be found at Italian specialty shops in the area.
Basic Fresh Pasta Dough Recipe:
1 kg 00 Flour
8 ea Whole large eggs
4 ea Egg yolks
2 Tbl Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
This dough can be made easily in a stand mixer with a dough hook, by starting with the eggs and olive oil in the bowl. Mix until combined, then add the flour and watch for the dough to come together in a smooth ball. Wet or dry dough can be corrected by adding a small amount of flour, or another egg yolk. Ambient conditions (mostly humidity) can have a significant impact on how much moisture the dough will require.
Remove the dough from the mixer and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes prior to use.

Chef Pancake Demos Saucing Technique

RECIPES FOR TODAY

Napolitano Style Fresh Tomato Sauce Serves 4

1 lb Fresh Pasta dough
1 pt Ripe cherry tomatoes (e.g., Sun Golds, Juliets, Sweet 100s)
1 tsp Minced fresh garlic
2 Tbl Fresh basil, chiffonade
1 TT EVOO
½ Cup Grated Parmigiano Reggiano (Grana Padano or Pecorino will work)
1 TT Sea salt/Kosher salt and Cracked Black Pepper (can sub Pepperoncino)

Slice the cherry tomatoes in half, and crush each with your fingers, into a large bowl. Add the garlic, basil, EVOO, cheese, salt & pepper. Reserve at room temperature.
Roll out the pasta into desired shape (Tagliatelle, chitarra, stracci). Bring 5-6 qts of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta for 3-4 minutes or until just tender. Strain the pasta, and reserve the pasta water.
Toss the hot pasta into the bowl with the fresh sauce and cheese. Let sit for 1-2 minutes, until the sauce coats the pasta.
Divide the pasta between 4 plates, and add additional cheese is desired. Drizzle with EVOO.

Chef discusses results with the class.


Lots of Good to Come from the Greenhouse

Cilantro & French Breakfast Radishes

Well, we just couldn’t be more pleased with our opening few weeks. It has been so nice to meet so many of our neighbors and to hear that many of you are as excited as we are that we are here, so a big thank you for all the support. With that said we have neglected our blog duties for last week but we are back with an update on everything we have growing in and around the greenhouse as well as an update on the mural and the patio ETA.
Also I know many of you have asked about signage and it should be installed by this Friday, until then, you know where we are!

It is exciting to see many of our plant begin to bear fruit. Lots of the tomatoes are flowering and/or fruiting and the peppers as well. We also have loads of herb and veg seedling that we plan to transplant to a friends beds to keep us supplied with additional herbs for the rest of the season. The greenhouse has proved to be invaluable in providing some climate stasis for our plants which have been trying to keep up with the crazy weather patterns of this season. To date our only major challenge was dealing with some aphids on a cucumber plant and some arugula. This is what we discovered was best, isolate the affected plant (ie: get it out of the greenhouse. Do not try soapy water on the leaves (it will burn them) introduce ladybugs (they can deal with the problem in a fashion that only mother nature can create) or use a mild organic pesticide and then allow the afflicted plant to rest and hopefully recover. Water and proper feeding will help.

We are really looking forward to using our tomatoes and peppers in the coming months. At present we have 18 varieties of heirlooms, 10 different varieties of peppers, a number of herbs, fennel, lettuces, caper bushes, a lemon tree, zucchini, cucumber and a Ponderosa lemon tree that is growing by leaps and bounds from the little seedling we purchased back in may. The pear mint & Kaliteri Oregano plants have begun to flourish and we look forward to using them in the second half of the season.

We also have a handmade pasta class coming up on July 16th at noon. Participants will learn how to make dough, use a pasta roller, cut noodles and fill a ravioli. All capped off with lunch and wine. Give us a call at 708-775-8122 if you would like to attend or email us at info@autremondecafe.net.

Our patio is slated to open in a week or two and we hope to introduce weekend brunch in August. It’s shaping up to be a fun and busy summer! If you haven’t been in yet we hope to see you soon!