Friday, October 30, 2009

yet another food related post..

It is the winter, with long cold evenings. It is pleasurable to work by the stove and do things with my hands. And then there is the produce! Strangely enough, most of the things that spell 'spring' start coming around now and last throughout the winter- lotsandlotsofgreens, zucchini, baby carrots..

But what I am writing about is a truly autumnal food. I have been wanting to make sweet potato agnolotti for a long time now- after reading this post. (warning- that blog is fun, and WILL suck you in.) Last week, I found myself at home with sweet potatoes, and a desire to stay in the kitchen.

the problem? no bacon, eggs, butter, cream, sage..and as for 'squab spice' I don't even know what that is.

But I winged it..made a pretty austere pasta dough with flour, oil, salt, water and kneaded it for 20 mins- with a clock by my side. Let it rest. Instead of the bacon, looked around for other ways to add those salty, smoky, rich punctuation marks to an otherwise smooth filling..The simplest way was to chop up some garlic and onions, and fry till crunchy and dark with a generous amount of salt. Boiled the sweet potatoes instead of roasting them, and mashed till smooooooth with some nutmeg, cinnamon, and a touch of jaggery. Folded in the onion mix. Rolled out the pasta, marked out rectangles, plopped spoonfuls of filling, rolled, folded and pinched. Dropped in boiling water and let cook for a little less than 5 minutes. Had undersalted the whole, so sprinkled salt and more nutmeg on top.

How was it? so good. It was creamy, and good, and warm, and soothing without being bland. the sprinkling of salt and nutmeg was perfect, with the taste 'crunch' it gave. With the whole wheat and lack of dairy and bacon, it turned out to be a not-rich version of the original. Something I will make again, and I will try it with bacon. But what I am most happy about is making nice agnolotti on a weekday evening without a recipe/planning/reason. Somehow I think that is so cool.

And for those purists who want the original recipe, it is from the French Laundry Cookbook, and Thomas Keller has not posted it anywhere outside the book. But it has been stolen, and it is available online, and you can look for it, and I am not linking to it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i don't do any non-basic fare cooking and perhaps having got into the cookingasduty mindset that many mothers do; but maybe reading your blog might convert me.

but that is later.

now i relish the bits like 'smoky, crunchy punctuation marks'.

beautiful language is also

please keep writing.