Pilsner Pappardelle with Harissa Brown Butter, Burrata, and Crispy Basil

Pilsner Pappardelle with Harissa Brown Butter, Burrata, and Crispy Basil

Is January an asshole, or is it just me? Every year of my life up to this moment, January has been the worst month. It’s soggy and heavy and sad. We’ve just got to keep moving through it as if it doesn’t exist, it’s just a vestibule to the rest of the year. 

My current means of coping is throwing myself into long cooking projects, it helps. Don’t fight me on this, just sit there and look pretty. This week it’s homemade pasta, something every single person who has hands and a mouth should attempt at least once in their lives. If I didn’t hate the term “bucket list” I would tell you to add this endeavor to yours. 

It isn’t hard, and it isn’t complicated, it’s just a few simple ingredients and some time. If you have a stand mixer and a pasta roller, even better. But if you don’t, it’s still completely possible. Remember, Italian grandmas didn’t have those things a hundred years ago and their pasta didn’t suffer. 

Instead of a stand mixer, just use your hands. It will give you an arm workout and take three times as long, but your pasta will be well worth it, a carb load after the upper body training. If you don’t have a pasta roller, just use a rolling pin. Or a bomber of beer. 

And everything is better with burrata, this is a fact. I don’t care what you serve me, if you say, “Do you want burrata with that?” the answer will be yes. Cake, cereal, pizza, I don’t care, put a big ball of burrata on it and it’s happy. I’m happy. I’m less January-y. 

Add in some harissa and a beer and it already feels like February. 

Pilsner Pappardelle with Harissa Brown Butter, Burrata, and Crispy Basil

Servings 4 Servings

Ingredients
  

For The Pasta:

  • 2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup (2oz) beer pilsner, wheat beer, pale ale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

For the Browned Butter:

  • ½ cup (114g) unsalted butter*
  • ¼ cup prepared harissa
  • ½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt

For the Dish:

  • olive oil for frying
  • 8-10 large basil leaves chopped
  • 4 (2 oz each) mini balls of burrata
  • Black pepper

Instructions
 

Make the pasta:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a hook attachment, add the flour and the salt and mix well. Form a well in the center, add the eggs and the beer. Mix on low speed until the dough, eggs, and beer are incorporated, about 6 minutes. 
  • Turn the mixer to medium speed and allow the mixer to knead the dough until it's elastic (stretches when pulled rather than breaks right away) about 8 minutes. Form a ball and brush with olive oil. Cover and allow to rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
  • Cut the dough into two equal halves. Cut each half into equal thirds to give you 6 equal-sized pieces. Keep all dough covered that you are not working with.
  • Flatten each dough section into a long oval. Pass through the pasta roller at the widest setting. Close the pasta roller one notch and pass through again. Close the pasta roller again pass the pasta through again. Add flour to the pasta with each pass through the pasta roller. Continue to do this until the pasta sheets are thin (about 3 stops from the smallest setting).
  • Using a sharp knife, cut each sheet of pasta into 1-inch-wide slices, and approximately 8-10 inches long. 
  • Allow to air dry on a flat surface covered in flour for about 20 minutes.
  • Cook pasta in heavily salted water until al dente, about 4 minutes.

Make the sauce:

  • Add the butter to a saucepan, allow to simmer over medium heat until toasty brown and starting to smell nutty. Remove from heat, stir in harissa and salt.

Make the Basil:

  • Heat about 2 inches of oil in a pan or pot until very hot. Using a slotted spoon, lower the herbs into the oil. Fry them for about 5 to 10 seconds. Transfer to a plate lined with a towel.

Plate the pasta:

  • Divide the noodles between four bowls. Drizzle with sauce. Add a ball of burrata to each bowl. Sprinkle with basil and black pepper.

Notes

 Why would you call for unsalted buttter and then have me add salt?! Why would you do such things?! Great question! Salt is not added to all brands of butter in the same amounts. Some sticks of salted butter have less than an 1/8 of a teaspoon, some as much as a full teaspoon. The only way to know how much salt is in the dish is to add it yourself. 

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