Herb-printed Pasta Recipe
This pasta was absolutely beautiful, a lot of work, but beautiful. I saw the picture in Simple to Spectacular, and immediately put it on my short list of recipes to try.
The concept is simple. Roll out fresh pasta, and then sandwich a variety of herbs between two pieces (or one piece folded over). Kind of like the way one might press flowers in a book. You really have to look at the picture to understand what I am talking about.
The recipe calls for a variety of herbs, and in the picture it looks like they used basil, dill, and tarragon (the dill looks particularly cool). I went out on my back porch to figure out what I had that was edible from my patio herb garden. I have been attempting shed my 'black thumb' reputation by growing herbs in a newly crafted container garden. I even drilled drainage holes into the bottoms of a bunch of galvanized steel storage containers from IKEA to give them a proper home, and a fighting chance this year.
I plucked a bunch of tiny basil leaves (globe basil and Genovese basil for those of you who are interested), and then pulled some pretty lemon thyme buds with those perfect, tiny, pink and purple flowers.
Now that I have gone through the picking and pressing process with the pasta, it seems the rule of thumb here is: the smaller and flatter the herbs, the better. Pressing the herbs into the pasta was straight-forward (you need a pasta-machine). The only strange thing happened as I was putting some of the pasta out on the counter to dry out a bit while I rolled out the rest. Some dark brown marks started to show up around some of the basil, you can see the spots in the picture. I think they showed up in the spots where the herb juices oozed out. Next time I would make sure there were no little stems left attached, and make sure the leaves were extra flat-- see if that would help any.
The flavor: I have to tell you-I am not the biggest fan of flavored pasta, but this was a whole different story. I really got a burst of flavor when I took a bite of the pasta with a whole basil leaf. It is a whole new pasta experience worth trying.
As far as the overall preparation went, you were kind of on your own as far as figuring out what to do with the pasta after you rolled it. I just tossed the cooked herb-printed pasta with some browned butter, some fresh shelled English snap peas, and some Parmesan, in the giant saute pan, tossed it around a bit. It was excellent. Except, I must confess, I am still having a bit of trouble with my fresh pasta clumping a bit after I drain it. It just kills me to to think I may have to grab each piece of pasta out of the boiling water with tongs or something. Hopefully I will encounter a short cut or solution soon.
To feature an actual recipe taken from a cookbook, it is best to request permission from the publisher or author. In the early days on 101 Cookbooks, I would tell people where to find the recipe, but not feature the recipe itself. Eventually I began to request permission to run the actual recipes, but this wasn't one of them. The majority of entries on 101 Cookbooks will have the recipes attached, this just happens to be one of the ones that doesn't. My apologies!