One of the Seattle area's favorite restaurants has made it easy for you to recreate their most popular dishes at home, and that's not all. Purple Cafe Chef Harry Mills teamed up with sommelier Chris Horn for COOK + CORK, a gorgeous cookbook featuring unique food and wine pairings. The pair shared more about the book and spotlighted a few of their favorite recipes.
Harry and Chris will discuss and sign copies of Cook + Cork on Thursday, September 21, at 5:00 pm at University Bookstore in Mill Creek (15311 Main St, Mill Creek, WA 98012 Phone: (425) 385-3530).
Here's the recipe Chef Harry prepared today:
Cream-Free Fettucine Alfredo (Serves 2)
Chef Harry Mills, Purple Café (featured in COOK + CORK)
8 quarts water
½ cup kosher salt
½ cup semolina flour
8 ounces fresh egg fettucine
1 tablespoon cooking butter (standard grocery store butter)
3 tablespoons finishing butter (higher-quality butter, usually imported from France, Ireland, or Denmark)
1 ounce (about ½ cup) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus we like to put a plate out with the cheese and a grater on the table so guests can add more if they wish
¼ teaspoon lemon juice
- Combine the water, salt, and semolina flour with a whisk in a large pot
- Bring it to a boil. Whisk again to make sure that no flour is settling on the bottom of the pot. You want to distribute and dissolve as much starch as possible.
- Drop the fettucine in the rapidly boiling water and follow the cooking instructions on the packaging, decreasing the low rage of the cooking time by a full minute
- While the pasta is boiling, melt the 1 tablespoon of cooking butter over medium heat in a medium sauté pan.
- When the pasta has cooked, lift it from the water using a small strainer or a ‘spider” utensil and transfer it to the pan. Make absolutely no attempt to shake the water from the pasta.
- Toss the pasta in the butter and water repeatedly until the pasta starts to absorb the water in the sauté pan. Test the pasta for doneness. It should be 90 percent done.
- Add a large ladle (1/2 cup) of the pasta water to the pan and add 3 tablespoons of finishing butter all at once.
- Toss repeatedly over medium-high heat. Do not let the pasta boil. You will slowly build an emulsion of butter, pasta, pasta starch, and water. Now start adding cheese with feverous abandon.
- Never stop agitating the pan until you’re ready to serve. The sauce in the pan will look almost exactly like heavy cream. Taste some of the pasta; adjust if it needs more salt. If it is too rich or flat, add a few drops of lemon juice and taste again. Keep adjusting. Your guests will appreciate that you sacrificed your appetite to get it right.
- Serve the pasta with more Parmigiano-Reggiano on the side. Resist the urge to add cream, Gorgonzola, shrimp, or steak. Just offer a pepper mill instead.
(On the show, Chef Harry tossed in some fresh Dungeness crab and topped with toasted breadcrumbs.)