Thursday, January 6, 2011

Comfort Food and Celebrations

First of all Happy Three Kings Day to everyone out there! Today I'll be taking down my tree because today is considered to be the end of the holiday season in many countries.

Yesterday was a day for me to deal with some bureaucratic paperwork so when I got home I made a salad and enjoyed of catching up with Cooking like Iron Chef with Michael Symon. I loved the challenge because it was scallops and he prepared them with pasta... I have to say that's what I call comfort food! So here is the very easy recipe, especially if you use ready made fresh pasta.

Spaghetti with Bay Scallops, Guanciale and Parsley
  • 1 tablespoon blend oil
  • 1/4 cup diced guanciale
  • 1 cup bay scallops
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 pound spaghetti, recipe follows
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, thinly sliced
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon butter

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium heat.

Put a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil and guanciale, and cook until rendered and crispy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Season scallops with a little salt and add the scallops to the pan. Cook until slightly golden, about 1 minute, giving them a quick flip.

Heavily salt the boiling water so it tastes like the ocean, and then drop in the pasta, and cook for about 1 minute. Add the shallots, garlic and red pepper flakes and give the pan a shake. Transfer the cooked pasta directly to the saute pan with the scallops, reserving the pasta water. Add about 1/2 cup pasta water to the pan to create a sauce consistency, and reduce heat. Stir in the parsley and drizzle in some extra-virgin olive oil, then swirl in the butter. Taste and add salt, if necessary. Transfer the pasta to a serving dish, give the pasta another drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and serve immediately.

For the pasta
  • 1 1/2 cups (7 ounces) "00" or all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 9 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Rice flour or instant flour (recommended: Wondra), as needed for dusting the cut pasta

Mound the "00" flour on a cutting board or countertop and sprinkle the salt. Form a well in the center of the flour and pour in the egg yolks. Add the olive oil and break up each yolk. Using a plastic bench scraper or your fingers, draw the flour over the yolks from the perimeter. Continue to mix the flour into the yolks until it's all incorporated, kneading only enough for it to come together. Shape the dough into a rectangle about 1/2-inch thick. The mixture should be dense, flaky, and crumbly. Cover the dough with a damp towel and let it rest for 10 to 30 minutes.

Cut the dough into 4 pieces. Take 1 piece of dough (keeping the others covered) and flatten it with your hands. If the dough feels very dry, dampen the surface with a few drops of water using your fingers or a pastry brush. Starting with the rollers of your pasta machine set to the widest setting, pass the dough through, 5 or 6 times, or until the dough begins to become pliable. Do the same for the remaining pieces. Narrow the rollers by 1 setting and roll each piece through it once. Continue narrowing the rollers and rolling the pasta through each consecutive setting 1 time until the dough has reached the desired thickness.

Proceed to cut the pasta as desired, tossing the finished pasta with the rice flour to prevent sticking. Pasta at this point can sit at room temperature covered with parchment or a dry towel, something that will allow it to breathe but not dry out, for up to half a day. It can also be cut as desired, tossed with rice flour, and frozen in plastic bags for up to a month.

Yield: 1 pound dough.

Have a great day and hope you're ready for the weekend!


  1. I've got one tree left to bring down and was just thinking today has got to be the day. We had 4 up this year so it's taking me a bit longer than usual. Comfort food is always good to me.

  2. I rarely make pasta at home, but this dish looks so delightfully scrumptious and easy to prepare.
    Happy new year;-)

  3. My tree will come down tomorrow. I am so ready but I know the room will look bare without it.

  4. This recipe looks bookmarking this!

  5. OK, that recipe sounds pretty amazing :)

  6. That looks incredible! Please cook for me!

  7. I've had a little too much comfort food over the past four weeks, but I supposed ONE MORE rich meal wouldn't hurt!! Looks delicious!! One of my New Years Resolutions is to learn how to cook. I suck. Hahah.

    Thanks for the post!



  8. i've never heard of three king's day, but i hope you have a happy one! :) pasta is definitely the best comfort food. mmm!

  9. I love recipes like this one:) Thanks,sweetie for it..Yum!!!
    Happy afternoon

  10. yum! I love dishes that don't always have the red sauce! thanks for sharing! xo -Taj

  11. Oh my. I need some comfort food! I am feeling very "over" salad
    at the moment!

  12. Seems really yummy! I love scallops.

  13. Oooh, delightful! I really should have left my tree up till Epiphany, I miss it! XX!

  14. There's nothing like some good comfort food. I am so going to try this...and possibly tonight.

  15. Oh this looks delicious! I have yet to try my hand at scallops, but I've noticed that on Iron Chef, Top Chef, etc that they are the base of many dishes. You are inspiring me to give it a go! xoxo

  16. Ooooh, this looks so tasty! I've never worked with scallops but I'll eat just about anything involving pasta.
    xo Josie

  17. We had spaghetti with shrimps and anchoives lastnight. Not quite as gourmet as this recipe but still tasted delicious!

  18. That looks so good! Now I need to eat some scallops tonight!

  19. i LOVE michael symon! he's a cleveland boy! he actually almost hit me with his hummer once...long story...


    xo Alison

  20. yum :-) happy Friday

  21. Happy 3 Kings Day!! This looks YUM!!

  22. looks delicious, i had never even heard of 3 Kings Day until now

    off to do some reading about it now

  23. Looks so delish. I'll have to try it! xo style, she wrote