Friday, June 24, 2005

For Mains: Saffron Tortellini filled with Herbed Mascarpone in Sea Urchin Sauce


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This is my take on the stuffed pasta dish we had devoured with such gusto at Ristorante Oliviero in Villa Sant' Andrea. As I am partial to pairing seafood with the sensual, earthy aroma of saffron, I wanted to introduce the flavour to the dish. When using these precious golden filaments, there is a very fine line to thread - just enough, and it imparts an intriguingly honeyed, floral note, too much, and it's bitter medicine. I didn't want to muddle the delicate mascarpone filling, or overwhelm the distinctive sea urchin sauce. After only the faintest whiff of the musky crocus stamens, I thought flavouring the fresh egg pasta dough instead of either the filling or the sauce would be the most subtle way of going about it. The sea urchin sauce is loosely based on a recipe from Grand Livre de Cuisine, Alain Ducasse's behemoth of a culinary encyclopedia, which I had finally succumbed to after deliberating for the grand duration of three days.

5 Comments:

Anonymous S said...

This looks divine. Have you tried the buffalo milk (at least I think it is) ricotta that Ricciotti brings in? It's beautiful--subtly sweet and creamy, with a lovely texture. It'll be perfect for stuffed pastas.

Ooh, I noticed that those copies of Ducasse's encyclopedia flew off the shelves alarmingly quickly. By the way, where did you get your copy of The Last Course from, please? I'm inspired by Keiko's caramel chocolate tart.

5:27 pm, June 24, 2005  
Blogger J said...

am now dying to check out that ricotta - sounds perfect...would love to use it to fill cannoli...

re: the last course. believe copy i saw was only one left - read: it's got your name on it ;)

12:27 am, June 25, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

super photo - i trsu the tortellini was made by yourself as well? Really beautiful image and was the sea urchin sauce blended (frothed up in a blender)- but do tell how you achieved sea urchin sauce? please

1:18 am, June 26, 2005  
Anonymous keiko said...

such a beautiful dish (as your all other gorgeous dishes)... I'm drooling all over the place!

10:18 pm, June 28, 2005  
Blogger J said...

hi keiko, thank you for your encouragement, as always...

2:05 am, June 29, 2005  

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