How to Win St. Patrick’s Day
There are two ways, but for the one I’m not going to deeply discuss, you must have massively protuberant nipples. If you don’t have massively protuberant nipples, proceed to the second paragraph. Or keep reading, if you just love to hear the sound of the words “massively protuberant nipples.” And feel free to say it five times fast. This method of “winning” is something that might fit into the Charlie Sheen definition of the word, so if that’s up your alley (this is not the anal reference you are looking for, you can go about your business), listen up. You just need a good length of green grosgrain ribbon and, you guessed it, massively protuberant nipples. And you need a parade. And you need to know how to fashion some sort of knot. All you do is tie the green grosgrain ribbon around your massively protuberant nipples, then you march with the pride of Lady Liberty right down the parade route. You don’t even need to hand out candy, people will love you so much. Well, you and your massively protuberant nipples. I’ve been invited to march in a parade tomorrow on behalf of Meals on Wheels. I plan to test out this winning strategy therein, be warned. Now on to strategy two:
If you want a second way to win St. Patrick’s Day, one that is perhaps, more subtle, you have come to the right place, because as you all know by now, I am the QUEEN OF SUBTLETY. I am so subtle I CAN ROCK ALL CAPS AND YOU WON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT HIT YOU. See what I did just there? So subtle. This method is also super easy and involves ribbon, but the ribbon is made of sheets of pasta and shamrocks stand in for the massively protuberant nipples.
Here’s what you do. First, make some sheets of pasta (rolled 70% toward the thinnest setting on a pasta sheeting machine). I’ll give you the pasta dough recipe below, because no two pasta doughs are alike and you want to use dough for this that is at once tenuous and durable.
Next, you cut the sheets in half vertically, using a straight-edged pasta or pizza cutter. Reserve one of the sheets and dapple the other with shamrocks, taking care to snip their stems completely off, because anything with too much girth will cause unsightly tears in the final pasta ribbon.
After the sheet is sufficiently dappled with shamrocks, place the reserved second sheet of pasta over the top of the first one and dimple it with your fingers to really press the shamrocks in place so they don’t slide around when you laminate the two sheets of pasta into one ribbon. Then roll them through the pasta machine again, starting at about 50% thinness until you’ve got them as thin as you want them. Shamrocks are so thin you can actually take these ribbons down to the thinnest setting, if you like.
I cut my finished sheets into serrated ribbons about the width of pappardelle using a brass pasta cutter. IF you don’t have a serrated cutter, a straight cutter will be almost as pretty. Go simple on the dressing for these noodles- the goal is to show off your beautiful ribbons (much the same way you could your massively protuberant nipples, should you go with method one). Garlic and olive oil would work, but I made a broth using ham hocks and parmesan rinds, reduced it to a glaze by whisking in some butter, and dressed the noodles in that clingy chiffon of a sauce.
A final note on shamrocks, or oxalis triangularis: they are edible and endemic to Brazil. I have pots of them all over the house, but they grow outside too, even in Seattle. Choosing a patch that is free of dog pee is, obviously, recommended. All sorts of medicinal properties are purported, but in enormous quantities, they can cause a tummy ache. I ate about a pound of pasta over two days to no ill effect, but if you’re worried, why not use basil or sage instead, you big fluffernutter?
The right pasta dough for this particular jobby:
2 c 00 flour specified for pasta, not pizza (or use all-purpose and be lame)
1/c c semolina flour (finely milled is preferable)
2 whole eggs
7 egg yolks
Mix as with all pasta doughs, then wrap in fridge and chill for at least 1 hour, and up to 12 hours. After that it will discolor. Totally unaged dough won’t relax the gluten enough to make good pasta. Be sure to laminate (fold on itself) several times as you’re sheeting the dough. A well-laminated pasta is a strong yet delicate pasta.