I love green pastas, so I decided to experiment with using sorrel instead of the more traditional spinach. It gives the pasta a subtle lemony flavor that I enhanced with a little more lemon zest.
This dish is a variation on a pretty traditional pasta dish with brown butter, peas, sage, and prosciutto. I used hazelnuts because they emphasize the nutty flavor of the brown butter, and added chives because of how well they complement sorrel.
Try adding morels to the mix to nicely round out the flavors and textures. —katie thacher
For the pasta:
flour (about 2 cups)
For the sauce:
freshly shelled English peas
freshly squeezed lemon juice
butter (one stick)
toasted hazelnuts, crushed with a mortar and pestle
In a food processor, blend the sorrel, salt, lemon zest, and the flour until the sorrel is finely ground and the flour is green.
Add the eggs and olive oil, then process for about 10 seconds or until it begins to look like coarse cornmeal (except green, of course).
Add the water, and continue to process until the dough bounces into a ball. Add a little more water if the dough is too dry.
Take the dough out and put it on a layer of plastic wrap. Wrap it up and let it rest for 15 minutes.
After it has rested, divide the dough into thirds, and roll it out in a pasta maker to the second- or third-thinnest level. Before the last round through the pasta maker, dust each sheet with rice flour and cut it in half if it is too long. Cut each sheet into fettuccine, then hang them to dry out a little.
For the sauce:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
While it's heating, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Keep cooking the butter until the foam subsides and it reaches a golden-brown hue. Remove the pan from the heat and add the more finely ground hazelnuts and the sage. It will sizzle a bit and then calm down. Set this aside.
Carefully drop the pasta into the water. Cook for about 3 minutes, depending on the thickness of the pasta, and then drain in a colander. Leaving some moisture on the pasta, transfer it to the pot of butter. Add the lemon juice and gently toss everything together to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve, topping each dish of pasta with plenty and peas, some of the remaining hazelnuts, and a sprinkling of chives.