Seaweed is being touted as "the new kale." And a little while back, kale was the new spinach. So keeping with the green-hued culinary zeitgeists, here is a recipe for freshly made pasta with hand-harvested seaweed. While Italians shun our multi- flavored pastas and firmly believe that the flavor is in the sauce, it is our right as citizens of a young country with a constantly evolving culinary tradition to introduce whatever we want into our noodles. And seaweed pasta with sauce made from locally caught anchovies sounded so right.
Fortunately, chef and writer Andrea Blum stopped by to help. She's led culinary tours of Italy, and knows her way around a pasta making operation.
2 cups semolina flour
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
4 tablespoons of seaweed (We used wakame, kombu, and sea palm. Any or all of these work well. Nori is not the right color and texture for this.)
Step 1: Measure and Mix the Dough
Put your flour in a bowl and make a well in the center. Put the eggs in another bowl and beat them. Introduce the eggs into the center of the well and blend them together. You can also combine them in a mixer, like pictured here.
To add the seaweed, we tried it two different ways. First, we blended the dried leaves into a sort of dust and sprinkled it in as it mixed. The other way was to add the seaweed to the water then add this to the dough. The only noticeable difference is that it's greener.
Step 2: Work the Dough
Scatter flour on your work space, and begin flattening and then folding the dough. Start to knead the dough, working out any air pockets. Then wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for a half an hour. Then divide the dough into four equal parts. Keep the sections you aren't using covered with a cloth so they don't dry out.
Step 3: Roll and Fold the Dough
Take one of your quarters and put it through the pasta machine on a thick setting. When it's flatter, almost sheet like, fold it into thirds, and repeat two more times.
Step 4: Make Pasta
Put the rolled dough through the pasta machine on a noodle setting. We used the fettuccine setting. Roll it through, and then gently lay the pasta onto a tray that's sprinkled with semolina flour. If the pasta feels sticky, you can hang it on a pasta rack, or open a cupboard and hang it over this.
To cook the pasta, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 4-5 minutes.
Step 5: Serve With Anchovies
Double up on the umami, and make one of these anchovy sauces to toss with your seaweed pasta. One is smoked anchovy butter, parsley, and red chili flakes. Another is preserved lemons and anchovy sauce. An Instructable is coming on this recipe. The third is Colatura di Alici di Cetara, a wonderful essence of anchovy sauce from Italy. (I tried to make something like this once, a garum, and it was a disaster.) The real stuff is sublime. The anchovy sauce is sauteed with olive oil, garlic, chili flakes, salt, pepper, and parsley.