Today, I wanted to share with you my favorite of the trio, my Homemade Pasta with Lemon Ricotta and Squid Ink Sauces. Yes, you heard that right! Two sauces! I had a dish in Catania where ricotta was paired with squid ink, and this inspired the sauce pairing. I wanted to elevate a humble pasta dish with homemade pasta and the aesthetic experience of mixing ivory and ebony. There is a subtle warmth to the color of a ricotta cream, and a bit of lemon juice and zest brings out the luxurious creaminess of ricotta. I served the pasta mixed with this sauce. On the side, I served a gorgeously complex sauce of aromatics fried and blended in with squid ink, cooked with pieces of squid. This black, velvety sauce, once poured onto the pasta with Ricotta cream, creates an instant contrast both visually and on your palette. I am so proud of this dish I can’t even explain how wonderfully it worked out.
I am a lover of Crème Brûlée and was thrilled to learn that the quintessential Catalan dessert, Crema Catalana was very similar in structure to the Crème Brûlée…now to figure out how they are different! Where Crème Brûlée is a cream flavored with Vanilla Beans (check out my recipe for Crème Brûlée here!), Crema Catalana is steeped with a combination of citrus zests and cinnamon.
Most of the recipes I have seen for Crema Catalana call for a cream cooked on the stove top with cornstarch, and I gave several versions a try…they were ok…but I prefer a baked cream, so I incorporated my technique for the Crème Brûlée, for beautiful and consistent results.
We wanted to have a beautiful and healthy meal to share, but I cannot let go of my need to impress all together, so I thought a lovely piece of fish prepared in a traditional and beautiful manner would be the perfect solution! En Papilotte sounds really fancy, doesn’t it? It really just means in paper. The technique is to wrap a piece of fish and any accompanying goodies in a piece of parchment and seal it so the fish steams in its little envelope as it bakes.
A cobbler is an easy and delicious dessert, you are basically making a loose jam filling and covering it in biscuits. Most people recommend a dollop of wet biscuit dough on top, which is really delicious in and of itself, but I like to use my standard biscuit dough to have nice fluffy biscuits. I press the dough out and fold it five times to create lovely layers as it bakes. If you want an even simpler dough, make it as the recipe calls and skip the folding, just dollop it on with a big spoon.