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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Fresh Pasta with Leaves and Flowers






I have been making pasta with herbs for years now, a good party trick, easy and effective. But I never had much luck with flowers, usually I got strips of colour and little more... until now. I am not sure if this is the reason but... I made a little change to my pasta dough. Usually I make fresh pasta with flour and eggs, the ratio being 100 g of flour to one free range egg. This time for 300 g of flour and 3 eggs I also added 1 tbsp of olive oil. At first I did this to make my job easier: I have little cold hands, not really suitable for pasta making. I could never do what my Grandmother did: work with a huge mass of 1 kg, all by hand and with the rolling pin. But she was a real Emiliana (from Emilia Romagna), with strong harms, and she started to make pasta at a very young age.





I picked some herbs and flowers from my garden. I rolled the pasta with a manual pasta machine down to the lower setting (very thin). Then I placed some leaves (and flowers) on the pasta (if it gets dry just brush the spot with a little water), folded some more pasta over and sprinkled with a little flour.





I set the pasta machine back to the second lower setting a put the pasta through the rollers again.





I think that you could easily stop here and cut your pasta, but I like fresh pasta to be very very thin, so I passed the pasta once more through the roller on the last setting. The pasta didn't break, and the leaves and petals flatten beautifully. I really like the patterns, especially the one the chives made.




Then I cut the pasta out with a pasty cutter: Here is the Italian parsley



Borage Flowers



Vietnamese mint



Nasturtiums


Oregano (Fresh)


Rose (red)


Basil


Chives


Calendula


Do not use rosemary or even sage, they are too thick and will break the pasta.




I cooked the pasta in salted boiling water. It only takes a couple of minutes because it is so thin, and the colours stayed!!! Usually I dress fresh pasta with butter, sage and parmesan cheese, but I didn't add sage this time because I wanted to taste the herbs and flowers in the pasta. Also I have to say that butter in NZ is really tasty, yellow and creamy (because cows eat green grass all year round).




The Vietnamese mint has a strong but super pleasant and fresh taste. Parsley and chives also had a lot of taste, basil and oregano less. Among the flowers the winner was the rose, I could really taste it. I am quite happy with the result, an easy but effective and delicate dish which could do well for important occasions.


Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©



31 comments:

  1. ALessandra che meraviglia!!!Mi fa sorridere solo a vederla questa pasta!!!bacione

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  2. So beautiful!!!
    Ho provato una volta ma solo con le foglie di basilico, con i fiori pero' fa tutto un altro effetto...

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  3. Your pasta is an absolute masterpiece! It looks really lovely and delicious, and I agree, the pattern the chives made is stunning!

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  4. Sei un genio alessandra e io che non ero mai passata da queste parti! Che meraviglia!

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  5. Ciao! This is creative. I never thought about pairing leaves with pasta. I always like to try something new. This is fantastic

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  6. This is super awesome, I agree for a special occasion super cool

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  7. I absolutely adore these Alessandra.

    I've seen Master Chefs make these on TV shows and I have drooled over them. I have to say yours are so enchanting.

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  8. These are very beautiful. Art on the plate and on the tongue!

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  9. @ Mango: really? Never seen Master Chefs, did they use flowers too?

    I am happy I have preceded them then: I made it for Cuisine magazine in 2002 and the NZ Gardener Magazine in 2006. But with herbs. With flowers this is my first success!

    Before I tried with zucchini flowers and sage flowers, but not so nice, the shapes were wrong.

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  10. che splendore, non avevo mai visto una cosa così originale e bella! bravissima Alessandra.
    i miei migliori auguri di buon anno 2011!!!

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  11. pronta per i ravioli aperti? ho visto i macaron di bron marshall devo assolutamente cambiare cucina nel mio buco non mi rigiro più e per farli secondo me ci vuole abbastanza spazio.
    (tutte scuse ahahah)

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  12. Enza, io non ho neppure la scusa dello spazio...

    dopo le feste provero'...forse :-)

    XX
    A.

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  13. That is SO pretty! Those leaves and flowers turn out so wonderfully against the pasta :)

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  14. deliziosi!io con le erbe avevo già dato varie volte, ma con i fiori.... son troppo belli! il problema è avere fiori commestibili, devo attendere questa primavera su in montagna... ho già un'idea!!:-) grazie!
    e auguroni di buon anno!

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  15. mizz..! questa pasta floerale è semplicemente fantastica. Complimenti davvero!

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  16. These are absolutely gorgeous, Alessandra! I can just imagine how lovely each one must taste. This is truly a work of art! You are so creative.

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  17. This is an inspired idea. Your pasta is beautiful and unlike anything I've seen before. I guess that's why your write cookbooks :-). I hope you have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

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  18. Ma è stupenda, Alessandra! Che bella e che romantica! La riproporrei per una cena di San Valentino speciale, tagliata a forma di cuore e al centro un fiore o una foglia. Dev'essere anche tanto gustosa e profumata!
    Cara, ti faccio ancora tanti tanti auguroni di uno splendido 2011 a te e alla tua famiglia.
    Bacioni!

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  19. Si, molto romantica, soprattutto la rosa :-)

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  20. This is what I called a masterpiece. I'm amazed how it turns out!

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  21. Awesome, very pretty! I bet it tasted great too. I got hungry, just looking at the pics!

    Happy New Year!

    Peace :)

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  22. Alessandra your pasta looks absolutely gorgeous. I like making my own pasta, but I have never tried this - it is absolutely on my "must try" list for summer. Best wishes for a wonderful year ahead:-)
    Sue xo

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  23. What exquisite pasta! Arty cuisine - you could do a book about this!

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  24. my How creative kudos Alessandra...simply gorgeous :)

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  25. What a beautiful technique! I've seen this sort of pasta before but never with such variety, and it is great to know exactly how to go about it. You are right, the chives are especially lovely.

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  26. Reminds me of Japanese washi paper with embedded flowers --

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  27. Thank you, Alessandra! It is pretty!!! Well, I don't have a pasta machine at home. Does a rolling pin for pies work to flat the dough?

    I should make it on the weekend!

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  28. I just stumbled upon your post on Pinterest, what a piece of art! I will be making this tomorrow...

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  29. ... and as a follow-up -- I made the pasta with oregano leaves, it was triumphant! I posted the photos on my blog, together with the link back to your post (http://www.threelittlehalves.com/2014/02/an-ode-to-fresh-pasta-tagliolini-with.html). Thank you very much for sharing this goodness!

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