I've followed the blog Manu's Menu for several years. So, when Manu posted that she was looking for a few bloggers to test recipes and post a review of her upcoming cookbook, I was definitely game. She grew up in Italy and I've always found her recipes like a homecoming of sorts. I miss Rome, especially when I visit local farmers' markets and make homemade pasta.
The first recipe I tried was her Prawn and Zucchini sauce. It was so easy, delicate, and delicious. But, as it was a weeknight, I didn't have time to try one of her pasta recipes. This past weekend, on a leisurely afternoon, I decided to make the same sauce and use it with one of her hand-rolled pastas.
D and I had just gone to a farmers' market and picked up fresh summer squash and fresh squash blossoms. You can read all about that adventure here.
I emailed Manu and told her I was thrilled to have a gluten-free pasta recipe to try. She cautioned that the gluten-free dough is best suited for ribbon pasta and stuffed pasta. "Handshaped pasta is harder to make, as the dough is stiffer and it will also take a much longer time to cook." All good things to note.
Thankfully I have my very own Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf. D is always up for helping me in the kitchen. Just look at that bowl of homemade pasta goodness!
A quick note: we are not novices to homemade pasta. We took a pasta-making classes with the boys; I've taken a three-part artisan pasta-making class. We've made Maltagliati and Lemon Zest and Cuttlefish Ink Pasta; D makes Ricotta Gnocchi all the time for us.
These recipes are slightly adapted as I made minor changes to both; recipes are provided with permission. I noted my alterations.
- 5 ounces rice flour (I used a brown rice flour)
- 2 ounces potato starch
- 1 T corn starch
- 2 T xanthan gum
- 1 to 2 T olive oil (Manu specified 1 T, but our dough was a little bit too dry)
- 3 to 4 eggs (Manu specified 3 eggs, but our dough was a little bit too dry)
- Also needed: rolling pin, wavy pasta cutter
Place the flour, starches, and gum in a large mixing bowl. Make a hollow in the center, pour in the olive oil, and break the eggs into the center. Use a fork to whisk the flour into the liquid until everything is incorporated.
Turn the dough onto a piece of parchment paper. Knead until the dough is smooth, approximately 5 to 10 minutes.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let rest for at least 30 minutes.
When you're ready, roll the dough out as thin and as evenly as you can.
Use the wavy pasta cutter to cut 1-1/2" strips. Slice the strips into diamonds. D said, "You mean rhombi? Or is it rhombuses?" Yes, that's what I mean.
Separate the cut pasta and set aside until you're ready to cook.
To cook, carefully drop the rombi into salted, boiling water. Cook until done. Ours took about 5 minutes. Drain and toss into the sauce.
Prawn and Zucchini Sauce
- 1/4 C olive oil + more for serving
- 1/2 C diced white onion
- 2 C diced zucchini
- 2 T water
- 1 pound prawns (if you can, I prefer wild - not farmed - and local seafood)
- 1/4 C wine (Manu specified white wine, I used a Rosé)
- sea salt
- 3 fresh squash blossoms, thinly sliced for garnish (this is my own addition)
Peel prawns, devein, and chop into bite-size pieces.
Heat olive oil in a large, flat-bottom pan. Add onion and cook until softened and translucent, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the zucchini and add the water. Cover and cook until the zucchini is tender, approximately 5 minutes.
Add in the prawns and pour in the wine. Simmer until the prawns are pink and opaque. Season to taste with salt.
The book is released tomorrow. I can't wait to get my copy of the printed book and try out more of her recipes. Brava, Manu, brava!
on the web
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I added this to my Foodie Reads list.
Here's what everyone else read in August 2017: here.