Dinner Is In 1 Hour…

You just got home 2.5 hours later than planned from your afternoon appointment. You have a houseguest and you want to impress her. Your 2-year-old pretty much has to eat dinner at 6pm sharp. It’s 5pm. What do you do?

I cleared the kitchen island and scrubbed it down at record speed, and then I dumped a pile of flour on the countertop. I used my fingers to make a well in the center and cracked in 3 eggs. I added a drop of olive oil and a shake of salt and beat the eggs together with a fork. I flicked in some flour with the fork and kept beating and stirring until the dough got too thick to work with the fork. I switched to a bench scraper and then my hands, kneading lightly. I covered the dough with an upside-down bowl and moved on.

I put a big pot of water on the stove to bring to a boil. Then I set up a cutting board and pulled everything out of the fridge. I sliced up 1.5 onions and 6oz shiitakes and started sauteeing them in a rondeau on the stove. I defrosted some concentrated capon stock in the microwave. When the veg were done, I dumped in the stock and reduced it slightly.

I made a quick salad: local organic lettuce, shaved red onion, red bell pepper, cucumbers, grape tomatoes. I set up some crudite on my son’s froggie plate; he doesn’t really grok salads yet.

Time to deal with the pasta: I cut off a third of the dough and kneaded it gently in my hands. I formed it into a rectangle. I set up my pasta machine on the counter and rolled the first piece of dough through on the largest setting. I rubbed both sides with flour, folded it in thirds, pressed out all of the air, and rolled it through again. I repeated until the pasta felt supple and alive in my hands, and then I rolled it through repeatedly at smaller and smaller settings until it was thin enough to see through. I repeated with the rest of the pasta, then I fitted my noodle cutter onto the pasta machine and used it to cut all the pasta into fettucine. I tossed the noodles with cornmeal and left them on a tray.

I set a cast-iron skillet on the stove and added a little oil. I seasoned some tuna medallions with salt and started searing them in the skillet.

I salted the boiling water heavily, and then added the pasta. I tasted a noodle a few minutes later and it was perfect, just a little bouncy and full of egg flavor. I used a pasta claw to pull the noodles out and pop them in the rondeau with the stock, onions and mushrooms. I ran outside to grab some sage and thyme, blitzed them with my knife, and added them to the pasta. I tossed everything together.

I boiled some broccolini in the pasta water while I plated up everything else.

We sat down at 6pm sharp. And yes, I impressed the houseguest.

Handmade pasta with shiitakes, caramelized onions and chicken stock
Seared tuna medallions
And we ate raspberries for dessert.


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