Biggie got it right, birthdays are the worst days...well, most of the time. I haven't enjoyed a birthday of my own in literally years. I was probably still giving out loot bags the last time I enjoyed my own birthday. So now as my birthday approaches every year, I start to bum myself out so that I don't feel so let down when birthday time comes...a trick that does not work, and isn't fun at all, so don't try this at home folks! For the past few weeks leading up to my moms birthday, I could see her using that same trick that I attempted to use this year. Whenever anyone would ask my mom about her birthday she would go quiet, say that she doesn't really want to do anything, and try to play it off like it's just another day. I know from personal experience how easily this little trick can backfire. Because I had put so much energy into believing my birthday was going to suck, it tooootally did! Every negative thing that I had expected to happen, happened and I was absolutely miserable. There was no way I was going to let this happen to my mom on her birthday. After a total bust of a girls-night-out birthday dinner on Friday night with my mom and sister, I vowed to turn my moms spirits around and make sure she had a special birthday come sunday, her real birthday.
At this point most people would begin brainstorming a killer gift idea to brighten up a birthday, but that just doesn't cut it at the Rose house. Here in the Rose family we use food to show our love, so I had to think up something truly spectacular for my moms birthday dinner to show her how much she means to me. Earlier in the day I had made my mom her favourite breakfast, sweet Nutella crepes with fresh fruit and homemade strawberry sauce, a tough act to follow. After much brainstorming, I decided to attempt a Giada De Laurentiis recipe I had seen her make on her show Giada at Home some time ago. Giada's recipe for Short Ribs with Tagliatelle was one I couldn't forget. First off the recipe features fresh pasta, which is something I have been obsessing over this winter. I purchased a pasta maker a few weeks ago and have been dying to crack that baby open, so already this recipe had seriously sparked my interest. The highlight of this recipe is that incredible short rib sauce. Hours of braising enhance all of the big flavours in this dish like pancetta, red wine, and and lots of herbs, giving the meat and sauce a rich and complex flavour. The slow braising process tenderizes the short ribs, so that after hours of cooking all you need are your two hands to shred all of the tender and moist meat back into your sauce. I love how long, wide noodles act like arms, hugging all of the savory meat and sauce, so that every bite is filled with the maximum amount of flavour, so I decided to make papardelle pasta instead of the recommended tagliatelle. I also had an extra leek in my fridge that I thought would add some great flavour as well, so I tossed that in the sauce as well.
Despite a brief moment of frustration filled with hot flashes and tears after learning the hard way that I had picked the wrong workspace to make my pasta in (make sure to pick a place with lots of surface area to lay your pasta sheets and noodles out. Fresh pasta can stick together very easily, so you'll want to try and lay out all your pasta in a single layer if possible.) the final product turned out incredible! The sauce had a ton of flavour and was a great texture from all of that shredded braised beef. The fresh pasta was thin, delicate, and the perfect size to envelope the delicious sauce. All in all, the dish was spectacular just as I had hoped for my mamas special day. All that hard work in kitchen definitely paid off seeing how happy it made my mom on her birthday. I love you mummy and I would make you a feast any day just to put a smile on your face! Happy birthday!
Tip: Make sure you have a lot of surface area when making fresh pasta. You'll want lots of space to lay out your pasta sheets and noodles as fresh pasta can stick together very easily. Try and lay out your pasta in a single layer, dusting the noodles and sheets lightly with flour or, better yet, semolina.
Braised Short Ribs
2 ounces chopped pancetta (about 1/2 cup)
6 short ribs (about 2 1/2 pounds)
salt and pepper
1/4 cup flour
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1 leek, tender white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic
1 (14 ounce) can tomatoes (whole, diced, or pureed)
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cups beef broth
3/4 cup red wine
1. Drizzle some olive oil in a large heavy soup pot over medium heat. Cook the pancetta until golden and crisp, about 4 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, season the short ribs with salt and pepper, and dredge in the flour. Using a slotted spoon, remove the pancetta from the pan and set aside. Drizzle the pot lightly with more olive oil, add the leeks and cook until softened. Using a slotted spoon, remove the leeks and place in a bowl of a food processor.
3. Add the short ribs to the pan and brown on all sides, about 7 minutes total. Meanwhile, combine the onion, carrot, parsley, garlic and leeks in a food processor and blend until finely minced. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste and pulse together.
4. Once the short ribs are browned, carefully add the mixture from the food processor to the pot. Return the pancetta to the pot and stir. Add the rosemary, thyme, oregano, bay leaf, beef broth, and wine. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer for another hour and a half, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, make the fresh pasta (see instructions below).
5. Remove the meat and bones from the pot. Discard the bones. Shred the meat and return it to the pot. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
6. Cook fresh pasta for about 3-4 minutes, or cook bought pasta as directed on package. Reserve about 3/4 cup pasta water. Drain pasta. Add the reserved pasta water to the sauce and stir. Add drained pasta to sauce and stir to combine. Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
3 cups flour
5 egg yolks
1/2 tsp salt
1 whole egg, beaten
1. In a medium-large bowl add the flour and make a small well in the centre. Set aside.
2. In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks. Add the beaten yolks and the salt into the middle of the well in the bowl of flour. Keeping one clean hand for mixing, and one for adding water, mix and form the dough, adding a little bit of water at a time until you have formed a nice, firm, but slightly sticky dough.
3. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes. Lightly coat dough in olive oil, place dough back in bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest in the fridge for 20 minutes or more.
4. Tear off a piece of dough bigger than a golf ball, but smaller than a baseball. You may now either follow the instructions on your pasta maker, or roll out your dough yourself with a rolling pin: On a lightly floured surface, roll out your dough using a rolling pin, until dough is paper thin and you can see your hand through the dough when lifted. While rolling, continue to lightly flour the surface, dough, and rolling pin so that dough does not stick, but try to use as little flour as possible! Repeat with remaining dough. Lay pasta sheets out and, using a sharp knife, carefully cut the pasta sheets into long strips of noodles, about 3/4-inch to 1-inch wide.
Ou Est Le Swimming Pool - Dance The Way I Feel
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