*this is not a sponsored post- I’m just in luuuuurrrrvvvve.
It is extremely rare that I endorse products on this blog, much less single-use kitchen gadgets. Generally speaking, things like pizza scissors, corn de-silkers and kiwi fruit de-bruisers are meant more for candidates of the Darwin Awards than the James Beard Awards. So when I say that if you like to make filled pasta at all you MUST go to ebay right now and bid on one of these strange little (really inexpensive) contraptions that will ship to you directly from the Ukraine, you really ought to consider this a game of Salty Seattle Says. And I say do it, so hop to it. Here are some reasons why:
- You can make hexagonal filled pasta. That is cooler than a hard nipple in a meat locker. Don’t you think the pasta would go SO well with these cocktails from Artusi Bar which feature hexagonal citrus peels?
- You can make loads of ravioli or pelmeni or whatever you want to call these bitches faster than a parrot can say “Me So Horny” five times fast.
- You will be the envy of all your friends. Or at least the envy of those who have had lifelong aspirations to create hexagonal dumplings.
If I were making real pelmeni which is the name for the original dumpling this device produces, I’d use a simple dough of flour and water, and I’d roll it into a circle. That way I could use every little mold. But, in a quest to expand the versatility of this fine product, I made Italian pasta dough and rolled it into rectangular sheets using my handy-dandy pasta machine. That turned out to be just fine.
First thing’s first- roll out two sheets of dough. Then, drape one of ‘em over the holes, AFTER lightly flouring the mold so that the eventual hexagons fall out without sticking.
Next, fill the little depressions in the dough with a small dollop of really good shit. In my case, really good shit is defined as potato puree mixed with mascarpone cheese, sweet corn and bacon. It really, really is really good shit.
Then, and it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure this out, put the second sheet over the initial filled sheet. This is where the magic happens. MAGIC, I tell you. Use a wizard wand (sometimes known as a rolling pin), to roll over the entire surface of the mold. This crimps the edges of the little hexagons closed.
All that’s left is to turn the bad boy over, and VOI-to-tha-mother-f*cking-LA, you’ve got scads of pasta fit for a king, except that it’s destined for your belly. Which makes your belly a king.
Because I am a giver, aka pleaser, aka person you want to listen to because I will make you feel good in places you never thought possible, I’m going to share with you a few additional tips.
Don’t roll the dough to the thinnest setting, otherwise it will crack under the bursting, momentous weight of your wizard wand, and you’ll wind up with limp, tattered hexagons. Nobody liked limp, tattered hexagons.
Make sure your filling is pureed and soft. You don’t want hard shards of bacon rupturing the delicate membrane of pasta skin. This would be like humping a stegosaurus tine- sharp, dry and no fun at all.
Like I said before, keep flouring the pelmeni mold. It will help the hexagons to pop out like the baby bump on Beyonce.
If you want to make your faux-pelmeni look as pretty as a unicorn in a tutu, you can serve them on a skid-mark of pea vine puree. This is infinitely better than a skid-mark you are likely to find on the tighty whiteys of someone who frequents Walmart. It also tastes good, and not in a way that is vaguely reminiscent of chocolate pudding. No, pea vine puree tastes like a butterfly carried a pea shoot to one of Odysseus’ Sirens and had her bless it with her sweet, musical breath. Then the butterfly dropped it in a Vitamix and the pea shoot came out a concentrated slick of verdant paste that makes your tongue do arabesques at the mere hint of a taste.
You can also bedazzle the faux-pelmeni with a strategic smattering of small, yolk-colored chanterelle mushrooms which you should refer to as champignons. When you call mushrooms by their French name, it makes them sound even more beautiful than they already are. It’s as though a chignon hairdo joined forces with Kurt Vonnegut and the sequel to “Breakfast of Champions” was born.
A wisp of pea vines is the final seductive touch to making this dish something Isabella Blow would be proud to wear on her head whilst Alexander McQueen slowly licks it off in an Haute Heaven showcase of deified performance art.
What you cannot see with mere mortal vision is the sweet corn consommé that coddles every faux-pelmeni as though it were Nefertiti’s hexagonal breast. All summer I have been lamenting the voluminous girth of the corn cobs, silks and husks that pad the walls of my yard waste bin never to be seen again. Finally, I’ve discovered a use for the corn rejects. It involves boiling them to extract their sweetness in a cauldron of water, then reducing the resulting stock down to a thin, sweet consommé that would not be out of place at a Dionysian Bacchanal.
Some benevolent goddess shone her lovelight down on this dish. I think she was Ukrainian, and I’m picturing her hoar-frost covered lips whispering sweet nothings to these faux-pelmeni during their creation. She wants you to experience the ethereal pleasure of hexagonal pasta as much as I do, and I have it on good authority that she is super hot, single, and oh yeah, immortal, so you should do what she says and go buy the mold or risk getting smote. Or smitten, take your pick.