In honor of a recent visit from a distinguished out-of-town guest, aka my dad, I decided to prepare a veritable locavore’s delight to give him a little taste of what the Seattle surroundings have to offer. If you’ve read my blog before, surely you know that I can’t resist an esoteric egg. So tell me then, with what willpower was I supposed to refrain from purchasing Banty hen eggs when they practically begged me to take them home? That’s right, I was meant to buy them; and the amazing green-hued eggs from the Araucana hen that were sitting right next to them, too. I’m dreaming up something funky to do with those too, but for the time being please note the full splendor and beauty of the beholden Banty egg.
The size is quite nice, actually, smaller than a typical chicken egg, but larger than a quail egg. I figured dolloping two atop each portion of pasta would just about do it, though two normal chicken eggs would have been too much. One duck egg might have done the trick, but damn, these Banty eggs are just so fresh and good I’m happy I used them. I put the eggs in shell in a sous vide bath for one hour at 144° and they came out with the white just hardened enough to keep the yolk from spilling all over everything, but just runny enough to make a perfect custardy-carbonara-esque sauce for the handcut tagliatelle.
On to the next ingredient du jour: fiddlehead ferns. If I was a true locavore worth my SEA id I would have foraged these babies myself; in fact Jonas and I headed out to the yard where we typically have them growing this time of year, but sadly they were too mature.
Spring came early in the Pacific Northwest, though it seems to be persisting indefinitely. What that translates to in terms of flora and fauna is that things are blooming and hatching ahead of schedule. Someone somewhere found some fiddleheads, though, as I was able to source them at the Pike Place Market along with some meaty morels. I threw in some asparagus tips since I plan to make a puree of the stalks soon, and called it a good blend to top my tagliatelle.
While I was rolling out the pasta dough I boiled the fiddleheads and asparagus for five minutes, then shocked in cold water to stop the cooking. Once the pasta was rolled, cut, rested and ready, I boiled the noodles. Meanwhile I sautéed some green garlic in a nonstick frying pan and added the asparagus and fiddleheads. I added ¼ c white wine and tossed in halved morels toward the end. I seasoned simply with salt and pepper, preferring to let the flavors of the ingredients take the center stage to spices. To assemble the dish I tossed the noodles into the morel mixture, plated it with a generous shaving of Parmigiano Reggiano, and topped each portion with two banty eggs that I gently coaxed out of their shells so as not to break the white. Both native and non-native Seattleites will lust after the creamy woodsy nutty flavors in this dish. The added bonus: if eggs aren’t on the taboo list it’s totally vegetarian too.