Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Two Pasta Dishes I made in April

Spaghetti Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino with Bracken Fern and Rapeseed Flower Buds

You know I haven't been cooking much lately, but sometimes I really feel this strong urge to experiment on new ideas. And the urge is strongest when winter is over and young shoots of edible wild plants and certain seafood become available in spring.

Bracken fern shoots are known to contain some carcinogens. In Japan, before using them for cooking, we prepare them with plenty of boiling water and some wood ash. You add the ash to the boiling water, soak the bracken shoots in it and leave overnight. Then drain and wash them thoroughly with fresh water, and soak them in cold water (running water is better) for about a day.

This test batch wasn't such a great success. It wasn't because of a bad choice of the ingredients, though. It was just the matter of not adding enough olive oil, salt and garlic.

Cream Pasta with Short-necked Clams and Rapeseed Flower Buds

Now this was a success, I would say. These short-necked clams are pretty small, but good enough to add nice flavor to the cream sauce. The only thing was that the clams were so small and to eat them, I had to pick up the shells with my fingers and use my front teeth very skilfully. :D

It always feels good to cook something using the fresh ingredients I obtained in the mountains, or on the seashore, not at the store. What a blessing.


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