Tea Pappardelle Almond Pesto Pasta (photo by Janet Sanchez, all rights reserved)

Tea Pappardelle Almond Pesto Pasta (photo by Janet Sanchez, all rights reserved)

Pasta can be rather bland by itself, but that very quality makes it ideal for combining with stronger flavors, such as Darjeeling tea.

2 tbsp Darjeeling Oolong (light colored liquor with sweet herbal notes)
¼ cup olive oil
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 ½ cups semolina flour (plus some for dusting)
5 eggs
2 egg yolks
Salt

Place the oil and 1 tablespoon of tea in a small pot over medium low heat for about 5-8 minutes. Remove it from the heat then strain. Sift together the semolina, all purpose flour, and a pinch of salt then place in a mound on your counter top. Make a well in the center of your mound.  Pour in the tea oil and eggs. Break the eggs up with a fork then slowly swirl them around gathering the surrounding flour until combined. This mixture will be a bit crumbly and may not look completely combined. Pull together by slowly kneading, pulling in with your finger tips and pressing down with the base of your palm. Knead the dough until it becomes a smooth texture, dust with flour and wrap in plastic wrap. Let the dough rest and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Cut the dough in half. Press it down with a rolling pin until it is about a ¼ inch thick.  On the widest setting of your pasta roller run each half through. After you run it through once dust it with semolina cut in half length wise and run it through again on a setting about 2 notches thinner. Dust with flour again then cut into thirds length wise. Using a pastry cutter or a pizza cutter trim the edges and make ¾ inch wide slices cutting length wise. Dust with flour and lay on a baking sheet that has also been dusted.

¾ cup dry toasted sliced unsalted almonds
2 cups arugula
1 cup grated parmesan
2 tsp salt
1 clove garlic
¾ cup olive oil
7-8 campari or roma tomatoes quartered

Place almonds, parmesan, salt and garlic in a food processor. Pulse several times until the ingredients are chopped fine and combined. Remove the pour spout cover from the lid; turn on the processor and stream in the olive oil. Pour into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.

In a large high sided fry pan place your pesto over low heat just to warm through. In a large stock pot bring 5 quarts of water to 190° then steep the remaining tablespoon of tea in the water. Make sure to use something that can be removed easily without leaving tea leaves in your water. Steep the tea for 4 minutes then remove. Bring the water up to a boil, put in a good palm full of salt then put in your pasta. Cook for about 3-5 minutes or al dente. Strain off the tea water reserving about a ½ cup. Place the pasta in the pan with the pesto and toss to combine. Now add in the tomatoes and cook until warmed through about a minute or two.

Recipe serves 6-8 people.

See more of Janet Sanchez’s articles here.

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