I remember learning about beurre blanc, a classic French sauce made primarily from butter. As I tasted it, all of my senses swooned. How could something this good be so bad for you?
We are taught to stay away from many foods these days. Some I agree with, such as trans-fats and high fructose corn syrup. However, I think it's more important to practice the good things in life in moderation. A sauce made primarily of whole butter may not be something you should eat every day, but if you deny yourself the indulgence every few weeks or once a month, you simply aren't living.
This brings me to my recipe for Tajarin. This is a fresh egg yolk pasta prepared in a simple butter sauce.
Will it make you fat if you eat it every day? Yes.
Will it make you fat if you eat it once in a great while? Absolutely not.
Will it make you happy if you eat it once in a great while? Absolutely YES.
Add to that a little white truffle (if you're willing to afford it) or some white truffle oil, and you have decadence on a plate. This is a dish that will seduce your guests. Serve it with a zesty and mineral laden Italian white (such as Arneis) or a 2011 Paumanuk Chenin Blanc, and you have a match made in heaven.
2011 Paumanok Chenin Blanc - The nose shows lemon and light peach with slate, earth and minerals. On the palate, it is fresh and spritzy, with citrus and crushed stone. The finish is mouth watering, with salty minerals and lemony fruits. It is a highly enjoyable Chenin that was pleasing to both my American and French guests alike. (92 points)
Tajarin with Porcini Mushrooms and White Truffle ButterServes 4 – 6
2 cups AP flour
8 egg yolks plus 1 whole eg
2 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 T water
pinch of salt
2 sticks of unsalted butter
6 sage leaves
1 cup dried porcini mushrooms (Soak in 1 cup of warm water or stock for 30 minutes. Strain and cut into small pieces.)
1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Small white truffle (or white truffle oil)
Notes on fresh pasta: Fresh pasta takes patience. You will get better with practice and, I assure you, it’s worth it. If you have a stand-mixer with a pasta attachment, it will make this much easier. Otherwise, you can buy a manual pasta roller. You will also want to have a dough scraper handy.
Measure and sift the flour along with a pinch of salt. Beat the egg, yolks, olive oil and water. Place the flour on a clean countertop and make a well in the center with your hand (big enough to pour the egg mixture into). Pour in the egg mixture. With a fork, slowly stir the egg mixture. With each stir, skim a small amount of the flour into the mixture (be careful not to let the egg mixture pour out from the well). Continue doing this until the egg mixture has absorbed enough of the flour so that it is forming a dough.