Two eggs over easy with bacon is a damn fine start to just about any morning. Now how do you change that up with a little technique and a few ingredients to make basically the same thing for a gourmet dinner?
It was seeing two different food postings on the internet in a short amount of time that first planted the seed for this dish. Michael Ruhlman did a post on egg yolk filled ravioli and a friend in an old Myspace group posted a beautiful picture of a roasted pork belly. Inspiration!
This month’s Daring Cooks challenge was make a dish that incorporates hand made fresh pasta. Steph from Stephfood was our Daring Cooks’ July hostess. Steph challenged us to make homemade noodles without the help of a motorized pasta machine. She provided us with recipes for Spätzle and Fresh Egg Pasta as well as a few delicious sauces to pair our noodles with!
You have to start this recipe with the pork belly. Basically you cover it with a mix of salt and sugar in equal parts and then let sit overnight. I did mine in a ziploc. You could also wrap it up tight in saran wrap.
Notice how much liquid is released from using this cure overnight. I rinsed thoroughly and patted dry with paper towels. Then it goes into a 250 F oven for about 2-2.5 hours. Baste with it’s own fat every so often and then turn the oven up to 450 F and roast for another 30 minutes or so. Keep an eye on things so that the top doesn’t get too dark.
Set this aside to cool. Then get to work on your pasta.
I do a very rich version of egg pasta using 1 cup of flour, 2 egg yolks, and 1 whole egg. Usually I do this in a mixing bowl and that is how I reccommend everyone does it. This time for photo purposes I did the well method. In my opinion the bowl works better.
One of the most important steps in making fresh pasta is to be sure and allow the kneaded dough to rest. I knead until mostly smooth and then wrap in saran wrap to let rest.
Then roll it out with what you have. I highly reccommend one of these Atlas pasta rollers. They are built to last 100 years and always work.
You need a little bit of filling as a nest for the egg yolks. So I put together a mix of fresh whole milk ricotta, egg, grated parmesan, fresh basil, fresh oregano, grapefruit zest, salt, and pepper.
Lay out a little filling and make a well for the yolks. Then gently put your egg yolk into the well.
Brush around your filling with egg wash and then GENTLY lay over your cover sheet of pasta. Try to work out as much of the air as possible and then seal with your fingertips. Use something as a guide to cut out your shapes. I used a small ramekin.
Now you are ready for the big finish. All at the same time, make a simple sauce of browned butter and some fresh squeezed grapefruit juice, gently boil your ravioli for exactly 2 minutes, and reheat your now sliced pieces of pork belly.
Bada Boom. Tarragon as a little color on top and it also adds a great anise flavor to this wonderful combination.
The sauce is powerful so just a couple of tablespoons over the pasta is plenty.
I always think of this as the moment of truth. Why yes, the yolk was cooked to perfection.
Try this dish at least once in your life. The components themselves are amazing, but together it takes you someplace better.
Be sure to check out all the other Daring Cooks posts.