WHAT YOU NEED

Pesto & Plating ingredients:

 
  • 3 cups (300 g) green garlic or other vibrant green leafy herb like parsley or basil (you can use a mix!)
  • 1 ½ cups (300 g) nice oil like sunflower or grapeseed (you can use olive oil if you’re feeling fancy)
  • 1 tbsp (10 g) kosher salt
  • 2 cups (100 g) Providence cheese Monforte (if you can’t find Monteforte Dairy at your local shop, any aged, Ontario hard cheese will do)
  • 2 tsp vinegar (I used apple vinegar from Niagara)
  • 1/3 cup (50 g) sofrito
  • 2 large eggs (for plating)
  • Crisped bacon pieces (optional, for plating)
 
CHEF TIP: Sofrito in Italy is what the French refer to as a mirepoix. It’s a vegetable base flavour builder. Sofrito is a fine dice of vegetables like carrots, celery and onion (sometimes fennel, garlic, ginger, shallot and parsley). In Spanish, Caribbean and Latin American dishes it often includes peppers.
 
 

Udon Noodle Dough ingredients:

 
  • 2 cups (200 g) flour (I used stone milled Organic Red Fife delivered by Brodflour in Toronto)
  • 2/5 cup (95 mL or 100 g) water
  • 1 tbsp (10 g) kosher salt
 
CHEF TIP: When making pasta, bread or really any type of dough, it’s important to weigh your ingredients vs. measure them to get your ratios correct. You can pick up a good digital scale at most major hardware stores, department stores or online.

INSTRUCTIONS

Sofrito instructions:

  • Use equal measures of ginger, garlic, shallot and cooking oil.
  • Roughly chop the veg (3 cups (300 g) green garlic or other vibrant green leafy herb like parsley or basil (you can use a mix!)) and cook in grapeseed oil.
  • Cook over low heat until thoroughly cooked.
  • Transfer to a blender and blitz until smooth. Transfer to a mason jar or deli container and hold in the fridge. You can store and use your sofrito for 2-3 weeks.

Tip: You can make more than you need for this recipe and use this flavour builder in salad dressings or when sautéing fresh vegetables.

 

Pesto Instructions:

  • Start by washing the green garlic/herbs and dry them completely. It’s important not to have any water involved here or your pesto will oxidize. Pat your greens dry on a towel if a salad spinner is not available.
  • In a medium bowl, toss the greens in the oil. Massage the leaves and make sure they are all coated, then sprinkle with the salt and ensure they get an even dispersion. Grate the cheese and add the sofrito and vinegar, then mix it all together. Remove to a container or zip lock bag and chill in the fridge overnight.
  • The following day, we run this though the blender - everything together. It’s important not to over-fill your blender - half-full is the max. You will get a smoother pesto by blending in smaller batches and there is less chance of burning out your blender motor. Small, quick batches is the way to go here.
  • Once blended, you can store it in a mason jar in the fridge for 4 to 5 days.


Udon Noodle Dough Instructions:

  • Measure and sift the flour into a large mixing bowl.
  • Dissolve the salt in the water.
  • Combine the water and flour, working the water into the flour. As it comes together and large lumps form, start to knead it with the base of your palm until the dough starts to come together and becomes one piece.
  • Move this to a clean counter so you can knead it out. Using the heel of your hand, roll the dough over onto itself several times. You should feel the dough get smoother with each turn. Turn the dough about 10 times by hand
  • Reserve the dough in a ziploc bag and rest it in the fridge for 3 hours at least. Overnight is ideal.
  • Remove the dough from the bag and divide in half.
  • Use a rolling pin to roll it out to ¼ inch thick or and roughly a 10 by 8-inch size.
  • Fold the dough in thirds, and then roll it back out to 10 by 8. Do this 3 times.
  • The dough should be super smooth and should not be sticking to your counter.
  • Roll it out for the last time. We are about to cut, so now is when you need to get your dough to the thickness you want. The dough is full of gluten so it will spring back a bit from the size you roll it out to. If you roll it too thin, you can give it another fold and roll it back out.
  • Dust the dough with flour and lightly roll it back up in thirds again.
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly-floured cutting board.
  • Using a long, sharp knife, cut the dough as wide or as thin as you like.
  • As you separate the cut noodles, move them around in the flour to get the exposed, cut side dusted as well.
  • Give the noodles a shake to remove any excess flour and place them straight into salted, boiling water.
  • These will take 10 minutes to cook. If you are using store-bought udon noodles, then follow the cooking instructions on the package.
 

Plating instructions:

  •  Whether you are using your own fresh noodles or store bought, udon noodles take a bit of time to cook so we will start there.
  • Bring a big pot of water to a boil.
  • Once boiling, add the noodles, setting a timer for 10 minutes.
  • Have a strainer close by so you can drain the noodles.
  • Once the timer goes, pull your noodles from the water and move them to a strainer, shaking off as much water as possible, and give the noodles a quick rinse under hot running water.
  • Transfer the noodles to a large mixing bowl and add the pesto. Give these noodles a stir to get the sauce evenly coated on the noodles. Now add some of the chopped, crispy bacon (if using) into this bowl.
  • Next is the fried egg. Get your best egg-frying pan on medium to high heat. About 7 is ideal.
  • Once your pan is hot, add 2 tsp of butter, then crack an egg into the buttered pan. Give it some pepper and sea salt.
  • Transfer the noodles to a serving plate or bowl, then slide your fried egg out of the pan on to the noodles. Add more crisp bacon here if you like.
  • Give it a hit with grated Providence cheese!

Dairy Inspiration

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