Sunday, April 14, 2013

Duck Egg Pasta

Earlier this week, my local butcher, Marin Sun Farms in Oakland, California, ran out of chicken eggs, but the shop had cartons of duck eggs. So, when life gives you duck eggs, make duck egg pasta. Each of the duck eggs weighed about 85 grams. For comparison, the United States Department of Agriculture grades a chicken egg weighing between 57 and 64 grams as large.

Although I have a few bigoli recipes that use duck eggs, I opted to follow an egg noodle recipe in SPQR [2012] by Shelley Lindgren and Matthew Accarrino with Kate Leahy. One of the best pasta cookbooks in my collection, SPQR lists ingredients by weight and volume. This made using the duck eggs a snap. Accarrino's egg noodle recipe calls for 250 grams 00 flour for 220 grams egg yolks (from 11 chicken eggs) and 5 grams of extra virgin olive oil. I weighed out the duck egg yolks and 7 yolks weighted 242 grams. I removed 22 grams of the yolks and I was ready to make my dough. Here is Accarrino’s recipe for egg noodles.

250 grams / scant 2 cups 00 flour
2 grams / ½ teaspoon kosher salt
220 grams / 11 egg yolks
5 grams / 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

To make the egg noodles: In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the flour and salt. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and olive oil. With the mixer running on low speed, drizzle in the egg-oil mixture. Mix the dough for 2 to 3 minutes, then turn onto the counter and knead by hand for several minutes; it should look bright yellow and feel firm. Flatten the dough into a rectangle, wrap in plastic wrap and leave on the counter for 30 minutes to soften and hydrate.

I divided my duck egg dough, which weighed about 463 grams, into two pieces; I used half the dough to make tagliarini and the other half to make corzetti stampati. SPQR’s egg noodle recipe worked well for both shapes. The duck egg pasta had a deep yellow color and a firm bite that characterizes egg yolk noodles. As for flavor, the pasta tasted rich but not appreciably different than noodles made with chicken egg yolks.