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primavera: egg yolk with egg tagliolini & spring vegetables

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Italy celebrates spring with an abundance of seasonal vegetables that gracefully leads us in to the preparations of an upcoming Easter (Pasqua) holiday.

This day is celebrated all over the country with regional poultry, meat, fish, egg and vegetable dishes that celebrate “la Primavera” (spring, new spring or spring time in Italy.)

Dishes such as risotto with newly blossomed artichokes from Roma and Emilia Romagna(Tuscany), torta di Pasqualina (an Easter savory pie) from Napoli, roasted lamb chops (costolette d’agnello) from Lazio (Roma), puntarelle and fava beans are just a few of the wonderful foods and dishes this new season brings to savor.

A soft hello from a cold winter past as it welcomes in the subtle warmth of the springtime sun.

I love to create dishes that follow in these traditions and one of my favorite dishes for spring is a beautiful showcase of the fresh organic eggs abundantly available in Italy.

I found this recipe in one of my many recipes searches and I just could not resist recreating this dish for Dan and myself. I changed and adjusted the recipe to create a dish that includes some of our favorite spring season vegetables.

The freshest, organic eggs are used in the delicate pasta, tutto fatta in casa.

cucinadimammina_egg pasta con uovo & spring vegetables_2The final presentation includes a soft, softly steamed organic egg yolk slowly cooked in a warmed vegetable stock for just a few short minutes leaving it silky, creamy and deliciously runny.

Note: Visit my recipe link for my egg pasta dough recipe to use for this dish.

The egg yolk combined with the sauce ingredients is a perfect foil for the tender noodles.

The subtle, fresh flavor of young sauteed spring leeks or ramps (if available) along with newly blossomed vidalia onions add just the right sweetness and flavor for the base of this recipe.

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I hope you enjoy and welcome in this new spring season with a sense of renewal and a wonderful gathering of your own food memories, both past and new ones yet to be.

tuorlo d’uovo con uovo tagliolini e verdure di stagione

{egg yolk with egg tagliolini & spring vegetables}

Yield: Serves approximately 4-6 people

INGREDIENTS

1 recipe batch of egg pasta dough (rolled into thin-cut tagliolini; laid out to rest & dry)

Note: Yields quantity of pasta noodles to serve approximately 4-6 depending on serving size (store extra dry noodles in freezer for future use.)

approx. 10-12 baby new zucchini squash

small bunch of fresh asparagus (trimmed and stalks peeled)

medium bunch of farm-fresh green beans (trimmed and frenched)

2-3 medium size fresh spring leeks (sliced thinly)

2-3 medium size fresh Vidalia onions (green stalks attached; sliced thinly)

good quality white wine

1-1 /2 tbsp. fresh organic unsalted butter

olive oil

organic vegetable stock (preferably homemade; always unsalted)

approx. 2 tsp. or so of red lumpfish roe cured in vodka

approx. 4-6 large fresh organic egg yolks (room temperature) each in a small individual bowl (one yolk per guest)

Make the pasta dough and roll and cut the pasta sheets into thin tagliolini and lay out on a clean tablecloth to rest and dry (dust heavily with flour to avoid sticking.)

Note: I suggest you make the dough and pasta in the morning and leave it to rest and prepare the sauce and vegetables that afternoon or evening.

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Steam the green beans and baby zucchini squash separately until almost fork tender. In a medium skillet, drizzle olive oil and add the steamed green beans, a splash of white wine, a splash of vegetable stock and salt and pepper to taste.

Cook on medium heat until the liquid begins to evaporate and the green beans are cooked through.

Remove from the skillet and set aside. Repeat this same process with the steamed baby zucchini and set aside.

Cooking times may vary depending on the quantity and thickness of the vegetables; test them often and do NOT over cook.

Drizzle some olive oil in the skillet and place on medium heat; add the raw asparagus and cook until fork tender; season with salt and pepper and remove from skillet and set aside.cucinadimammina_egg pasta con uovo & spring vegetables_27

Place large stockpot of water to boil on high heat; salt the water liberally until it tastes like the sea.

In a medium skillet, drizzle some olive oil and add in the sliced leeks, Vidalia onions and green tops to sauté on medium low heat slowly until they are soft and tender (do NOT brown or cook until crispy.)

Season with salt and pepper to taste; remove from heat and set aside.

In a medium pot add about a cup to two cups of the vegetable broth and place on low to medium low heat to warm the stock.

When the pasta water is at a full boil, add the tagliolini pasta in the water and stir slowly so as not to stick; the fresh eggs and flour can cause the water to foam and overflow; lower the heat if needed and continue stirring to avoid this taking place.

Note: I cook about a “handful and a half” of the homemade pasta noodles for each person; some will prefer less, some prefer more. Adjust your individual servings when plating.

The water should stay at a good steady boil to cook the noodles properly. Cooking time is only about 5-6 minutes at the most with any homemade fresh pasta noodles.cucinadimammina_egg pasta con uovo & spring vegetables_31

Strain the cooked noodles of all the cooking water and place in a large bowl(drizzle lightly with olive oil and toss gently.)

Measure the temperature of the warming vegetable stock with a cooking thermometer. The final temperature needs to be around 140 to 145 degrees fahrenheit.

Once the stock reaches the temp adjust the heat to keep at this temperature and very gently slide in one of the egg yolks; let it soak for about 15 minutes in the warm stock.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet melt the butter until liquid; add in the pasta and a good splash of the vegetable stock. Cook on high heat until the liquid dissolves; about 1-2 minutes total. Remove from heat and set aside.

To plate this dish, add a layer of the cooked leeks in the center of the plate, then add some of the cooked vegetables on the side (green beans, baby zucchini squash and asparagus.) Place a serving of the cooked pasta on top of the sautéed leeks and onions.

Carefully remove the warmed egg yolk from the warm stock and place on the top of the noodles; garnish with a quenelle of lumpfish roe and season liberally with fresh ground black pepper. Serve immediately.

Prepare the rest of the plates as above and warm each egg yolk individually  as mentioned above. Serve this beautiful and fresh spring dish with your favorite white wine of choice and a fresh spring greens and vegetable side salad.

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Note: Photography provided by Annette L. Venditti

Buon Appetito!

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