Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Dessert Tagliatelle with Caramelized Oranges and Almonds
I stumbled on this recipe several weeks ago. I was so intrigued that I kept returning to The Splendid Table to take another look at Lynne Rossetto Kasper's recipe for sweet pasta. I reasoned that if noodle kugel could be served for dessert, this might also work. I decided to try it and send it on to Ruth Daniels at Once Upon A Feast who is hosting this week's Presto Pasta Night. This version of tagliatelle was served as an accompaniment to poultry and meat in the 16th century and Lynne suggests it would make a good, and surprising, dessert. She's right. Once the brain adjusts to the novelty, the palate takes over and the play of flavors is, indeed, quite pleasant. It's a bit of a fuss to put together, but it's so unique I urge you to try it at least once. I'll be making this again.
Tagliatelle with Caramelized Oranges and Almonds
Shredded zest of 3 large Valencia or navel oranges
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter
1-1/2 cups fresh squeezed orange juice
2/3 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 quarts salted water
1 pound imported dried tagliatelle
3 to 4 tablespoons sugar
1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup (5 ounces) freshly grated Italian Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 cup whole blanched almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
1) To make sauce: Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Use a wooden spoon to stir in 1/4 cup of orange juice and 2/3 cup of sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring in spoonfuls of orange juice to keep sauce from crystallizing (reserve about 1/3 cup orange juice for finishing sauce). Once sugar is dissolved, heat can be turned up to medium-high or high. Stir occasionally. When mixture turns a deep golden amber, stir in pepper and two-thirds of orange zest. Cook only a second or two to protect rind from burning. Then step back from skillet and pour in reserved 1/3 cup of orange juice at arm's length. It will bubble up and possibly spatter, before thinning sauce to ideal consistency. Turn off the heat. If making ahead, remove pan from heat, cool and cover.
2) To cook pasta: Warm dessert dishes in a 250 degree oven. Bring pasta water to a rolling boil over high heat. Add pasta and cook until just tender. Drain in a colander. Bring sauce to a boil in a large skillet. Add pasta and toss to coat thoroughly. Sprinkle with remaining sugar, cinnamon, cheese, almonds, and reserved orange rind. Mound small portions on warm plates and serve hot. Yield: 10 to 12 dessert servings.