Like most people, I'm a fan of a simple bowl of pasta. There's something that feels fancy, like a new pair of sassy heels, when you're twirling long, ribbon-like noodles around the tines of a fork. And yet, there is a sweatpants-like comfort about the chewy noodles traveling from your mouth to your belly, filling you up and making you feel cozy all over. My favorite kind of pasta has to be papardelle. It's long, flat, eggy noodleness is something I simply cannot resist. And I don't like to dress it up too much. A simple pat of butter with a sprinkling of salt and pepper or parmesan cheese is really all it needs. Still, sometimes I feel guilty eating a bowl full of white carbohydrates, so I add lots of fresh parsley to make myself feel better. Plus, it's just so pretty having all those little green flecks scattered throughout the bowl. This particular recipe is inspired by some Japanese flavors that aren't normally used in pasta dishes. I was feeling a little rebellious and decided to channel that feeling by adding yuzu zest and shichimi togarashi to this bowl of deliciousness. Papardelle with parsley, yuzu & shichimi togarashi is allowed, right? Right.
If you've never tried shichimi togarashi, I highly recommend that you get right on that. Now. I'll wait.
OK, if you can't go try it right this second, I'll give you a little info on what to expect. It's basically a condiment with a red pepper flake base and bits of sesame seeds and other flavors like ginger and orange. It pairs perfectly with aromatic yuzu zest, which, if you haven't tried that either, is slightly reminiscent of grapefruit but too wonderfully unique to compare to any more familiar citrus fruits. It adds a perfect twist to recipes that otherwise call for lemon zest and I find the two almost always interchangeable.
Meals like this are what keep me sane during the holidays when I feel like I can barely put one foot in front of the other without forgetting something in the process. There is so much to do and plan for that mealtimes tend to fall by the wayside. With simple, delicious options like this around, there's no reason to opt for fast food cheeseburgers or greasy Chinese takeout.
Although, there are times for that as well.
And of course, if you've followed Set the Table for any amount of time, you may not be surprised at my addition of a poached egg. Because YUM.
Papardelle with Parsley, Yuzu & Shichimi Togarashi
Makes 2 servings
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 6 oz fresh Papardelle (or other egg pasta)
- 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
- course salt
- black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon shichimi togarashi
- 1 teaspoon yuzu zest
- 1/3 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
Begin by making the eggs. Bring 2 inches of water to a simmer in a small pan. Add the vinegar. Crack the eggs into a small bowl. Use a spatula to create a gentle whirlpool in the water and pour the eggs, one at a time, into the center.
Reduce the heat so only a couple of small bubbles rise to the surface. Cover the pan and let the eggs cook for about 3-5 minutes, depending on how done you like your yolks. Remove fromt he pan with a slotted spoon and transfer to a small dish. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season generously with salt. Add the pasta and cook until al dente.
Reserve 1/4 cup pasta water. Drain the pasta and return to the pot off the heat source. Add the butter and toss with the pasta until completely melted. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Add the shichimi, yuzu zest and flat leaf parsley and toss to combine. If at any point the pasta seems dry, add a bit of the reserved pasta water. Transfer the pasta to two bowls, top with the poached eggs and serve immediately.