Trofie with fermented wild garlic

Head Chef Adam Banks is a big fan of foraging for local produce as the season’s allow. In spring, we see an abundance of wild garlic in certain spots in Cornwall and use it in the restaurant in various dishes.

In this dish, the trofie, a pasta from the Liguria region usually served with pesto, is paired with plenty of spring flavours for a delicious, light dish.

Trofie with fermented wild garlic, pecorino, mint and almond

 

Fine semolina 200g
Water 100ml
Wild garlic [fermented or not]
Mint 30g
Whole almonds toasted and crushed lightly in a pestle and mortar
Mature pecorino
Salt and pepper
Vegetable stock 100ml
Butter 25g

  1. Bring water to simmer and pour it onto the semolina. Stir and leave to cool to a point at which you can handle it.
  2. Work the dough on a surface as you would a normal pasta dough, you’re looking for a smooth feel. If the dough is tacky and sticking to the surface, it means that it is slightly too wet so just dust the work surface and the dough with a touch of fine semolina and continue to work. Leave the dough to rest wrapped in cling film for about 30 mins.
  3. In the meantime, pick the mint leaves, toast and crush the almonds, heat the vegetable stock.
  4. Go back to the dough and unwrap it. Pull off a piece the size of a marble and roll into a small ball, then roll into a sausage shape that is the width of the first three fingers of your hand.
  5. Now the frustrating part, but also most rewarding once you have worked it out: move your thumb to the end of the sausage closet to your thumb and in one motion applying not too much pressure, pull the dough back towards yourself with a slight angle moving away from yourself, in a kind of arc. The dough will twist up against your thumb and will look like a shell.
  6. Leave the dough to firm up, boil up a big pan of salted water to cook the pasta, add the pasta and cook for 4-6 mins (check after 4).
  7. In another small pan add the stock and bring to a simmer, add the butter and whisk so that it comes together as a velvety looking sauce, season to taste and take off the heat immediately so that it does not split, add the fermented garlic and let sit while the pasta cooks.
  8. Once cooked, drain the pasta, but save some of the water and add to your butter sauce. Add the pasta to the sauce, toss and put back on the heat too thicken the sauce again if needed.
  9. Add the almonds, mint, a good grating of pecorino and toss that all in.
  10. Serve on a large plate to the middle of the table, drizzle some extra virgin olive oil and more pecorino if you like.

To ferment the wild garlic

  1. Pick and wash a quantity of wild garlic, dry it and then weigh it.
  2. Add 2% of the weight of the garlic in salt and using your hands, mulch the garlic (take care not to rip the garlic and leave the leaves intact). Do this for about 5 minutes until the garlic is feeling wet and soft.
  3. Add the wild garlic to a clean, airtight container and press garlic into the container so that the garlic is under the liquid that the salt is pulling from the garlic. If there isn’t enough liquid then add a layer of cling film to cover the garlic.
  4. This process is known as anaerobic fermentation. You will need to leave the garlic for around 2/3 weeks in a dark area of the kitchen that’s has a temperature around 17 to 21 degrees Celsius.
  5. Check on your garlic now and again and lift the lid of the container to release any gas build up. After the time has lapsed you should have a garlic that smells stronger and has a slight sour flavour. It is now fermented.


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