What I love about summer is how unexpected its days can be. It has nothing to do with schedules or routines, it is more about a state of mind. You are open to late mornings and even later nights. Suddenly procrastinating is not a bad thing anymore, it actually becomes kind of addictive. You can go a couple of days without combing your hair realizing how free and empowered it makes one feel. But it’s the summer state of mind. Try to do that in any season of the year and you’ll feel irresponsible, lazy and like the most bad-looking girl around.
Summer meals live up to this. This is the season when you end up throwing in a skillet every food you found during your lovely shopping day or during your afternoon stroll through the market. The thrill of having discovered new products, new spices, just harvested produce and want to put everything together, like a kid with a new toy on Christmas day. Well, at least that’s me!
We were out the other day and I found this local handmade pappardelle made with turmeric and black pepper. I bought two boxes and mentally set my dinner for that night. I wanted to make it fresh, light and green. I opened a bottle of a white ale citrus beer to make a very delicate floral sauce so the pasta absorbs the liquid and the end dish ends up being very light, not heavy or creamy. I didn’t want to mask the turmeric flavor with a thick sauce. I used some sage to infuse the butter and oil and its more earthy notes are a nice contrast to the citrusy floral notes of the beer. The creamy texture was brought by some burrata mixed into the pasta. Burrata is a dreamy, creamy, delicate cheese made with mozzarella and cream. It has the flesh of mozzarella but when you bite it, it melts in your mouth like no other thing. It’s absolutely delicious.
To add some healthy green I sautéed my favorite vegetable, which is broccolini, and made it kind of spicy with some red chili flakes. You can make with another vegetable of course, whatever you have in hand. If you don’t find turmeric or flavored pasta around you can always add ground turmeric to the sauce while it’s cooking, that way you too can taste these flavors. You can switch the cheese or the herbs as well. This is the magic of summer, you need to go with the flow in order to have a good time.
1. This is a create at the moment dish, so feel free to adjust any of the flavors here to taste, it’s not a super exact recipe, as most of pasta recipes are.
2. I like my broccolini a little spicy but you may leave out the red chili flakes as well.
3. Asparagus or peas have to be amazing with this sauce too!
4. If you don’t find burrata I strongly recommend a creamy cheese such as ricotta to substitute, just remember to season with a bit of salt before tossing into the pasta since ricotta could be pretty bland.
5. If using handmade pasta it is best to start cooking the sauce since the pasta is going to be cooked pretty fast. If using dry pasta, start with the pasta and cook the sauce during the last 5 to 7 minutes of cooking.
6. Remember to salt well your pasta water. Since this is a very delicate sauce you need your pasta well salted.
Turmeric pappardelle in a sage and citrus beer sauce
3 to 4 servings
Total and active time - 20 minutes
Equipment - large skillet
Pappardelle (you may use fettuccine or linguini as well) – about 12 oz
Broccolini stalks, wiped, trimmed and cut in half if they are too thick – 8 to 10
Olive oil – 3 TBSP + 1 TBSP
Red pepper flakes – ⅛ tsp
Fine sea salt – ¼ Tsp + 1 TBSP for pasta + more to adjust taste
Freshly ground black pepper – A couple of pinches
Butter (regular or unsalted) – 1 TBSP
Fresh sage – 6 to 8 large leaves
Roughly chopped parsley – 1 to 2 TBSP
Ground garlic – ¼ to ½ Tsp, depending on your preference
Lime juice and its zest- 1
Chicken stock – ½ cup
White ale citrus beer – 1 ½ cup
Burrata cheese – ½ cup approximate to serve
Freshly ground black pepper, fresh parsley an basil to serve
Cook your pasta according to the package instructions but add it to the skillet 2 to 3 minutes before it’s done. You may use 1 tablespoon of salt for 3 to 4 cups of cooking water (see notes).
In a large skillet heat in medium high heat the 3 tablespoons of olive oil for a minute or until the oil just starts to look thinner. Throw the broccolini and sprinkle with the ¼ teaspoon of salt, some freshly black ground pepper and a bit of red pepper flakes. Using some cooking thongs toss the broccolini around to mix it with the oil and the seasonings. Sauteé for 1 to 2 minutes, until the broccolini is tender and al dente. Retire form skillet and let them rest over a paper towel.
Add in the skillet the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the tablespoon of butter. As soon as the butter melts add the sage leaves and fry them for about two minutes, rotating them a few times. If they are burning too fast just lower the heat a bit. Throw in the parsley and the garlic. Mix a bit and cook for about a minute. Sprinkle the zest of the lime and cook 30 seconds more. Pour the chicken stock and sprinkle some salt. Squeeze the juice of one half of the lime. Let it boil for 1 to 2 minutes to combine all the flavors. Pour in the beer and cook for a minute more. Transfer the pasta to the skillet to finish cooking it within the sauce. Toss frequently and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more, being careful that the pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Retire form heat, add some extra lime juice and combine well. Toss in the burrata and any other fresh herbs you are using. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and serve with the broccolini.