It’s Terry’s birthday today and I took the day off work for the sole purpose of fixing her a yummy birthday dinner. It was supposed to be a surprise, but I just can’t seem to keep my mouth shut when I’m trying to pull one over on her, so I told her a few days ahead of time that I’d be home all day cooking for her. I didn’t tell her what I was making, so there was still some surprise to it when she got home.
Since we’re well into Spring, I wanted to take advantage of seasonal ingredients so to start, I made asparagus soup for an appetizer. I found this particular recipe to be just ok – I saw some recipes that had red potatoes and I think next time, I will add them. It would add a little more texture and depth, I think. The flavor was good enough, even without the potatoes. I served it chilled because the flavors popped more than when it was hot. No picture of this one because it honestly wasn’t that visually compelling.
The pasta is a recipe from a Chopping Block class I took last year which can be made as ravioli or tortellini. I chose tortellini today and decided that it’s way more fun than making ravioli and just about the same amount of work.
For dessert, I made strawberry-basil sorbet. More about that over here!
Fresh pasta dough
- 2 cups unbleached flour
- ¼ cup semolina flour
- 3 eggs
- 1-2 tbsp water
Mix all ingredients until well incorporated and dough is not too wet. Knead dough for 4-5 minutes, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in the fridge at least 30 minutes. Dough can be made up to 24 hours in advance. Tip: use a food processor with the dough blade. It makes this whole process easier. Once the dough forms into a ball, pull it out and mix whatever is left in the bowl into the dough.
- 1/2 lb ricotta cheese (I used light ricotta)
- 4 green garlic scapes (Regular garlic or shallots are ok too, just not as pungent)
- 2 tbsp butter
- ½ cup parmesan cheese – either grated or shaved
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 egg
Melt the butter in a pan, add the garlic and cook until soft and aromatic. Let cool.
Mix the garlic and butter in with the ricotta, add the salt, pepper and parmesan and mix to blend. Add in the egg and mix well.
- 4 cups fresh arugula
- 2 tbsp pine nuts
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 cup olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- I tbsp fresh lemon juice (optional)
Add the arugula, pine nuts, garlic and oil to food processor and mix well. Add the parmesan cheese and continue to mix until incorporated. Store at room temperature until ready to use.
Dress the pasta with the pesto (fun to say, yeah?) and serve.