"When we came up with this dish, we were originally looking to do a play on Amatriciana, replacing the chilli content with the heat from the kimchi," says Mitch Orr. "We were thinking about braising the kimchi into a Napoli-style sauce and using that as a base. After [fellow Acme chef] Katie Choi and I talked through the virtues and subtleties of kimchi, and realising that cooking it out kind of muted the umami and punch, we adjusted our idea. We wash the kimchi to lessen its intensity slightly. It's still pork and cabbage - I mean, you can't really go wrong with something as classic as that. It's a good representation of what we do - it's a little bit away from the norm, but really it's still a classic combination. After all, I'm not really that clever." Start this recipe a day ahead to dry the cavolo nero.
- 1 bunch cavolo nero, trimmed, stalks removed (about 2 cups, firmly packed)
- 150 gm (2/3 cup) kimchi
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 100 gm guanciale, diced (see note)
- 2 golden shallots, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 50 ml dry white wine
- 20 gm butter, diced
- 50 ml still mineral water, at room temperature
- 1 tsp lemon juice, or to taste
- 4 egg yolks
- 25 ml lightly beaten egg (about ½ egg)
- 1½ tsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 185 gm “00” flour
- For dusting: semolina
- 1Preheat oven to 50C or lowest setting and line 2-3 large oven trays with baking paper. Blanch cavolo nero in a large saucepan of boiling water until tender (30 seconds to 1 minute), then drain and squeeze out excess water out in a tea towel. Spread over prepared trays and dry completely in oven (10-12 hours). Set aside to cool, then process in a blender to a fine powder.
- 2For maltagliati, combine egg yolks, egg and oil with ½ tsp fine salt in an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add flour and mix on low-medium speed until fine crumbs form. Test by squeezing a handful – if dough holds together there’s enough moisture; if it crumbles, mix in a small amount of water, then test again. Turn out onto a bench, bring dough together and knead until smooth. Form into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, press flat and refrigerate to rest (at least an hour or overnight). Bring dough to room temperature and divide into 4 even pieces. Working with a piece at a time, flatten, then roll through a pasta machine, starting at the widest setting and dusting with flour as necessary. Fold in half and repeat until pasta is smooth and silky, then continue rolling and folding, reducing settings notch by notch, until dough is 2mm thick. Cut into rough 5cm x 10cm triangles with a crinkle cutter and set aside on a tray dusted with semolina.
- 3Gently wash kimchi under cold water, leaving a little chilli, drain well and pat dry with paper towels. Coarsely chop and set aside.
- 4Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over low heat. Add guanciale and render slowly, giving it the occasional stir, until golden and crisp (10-12 minutes). Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- 5Add shallots and garlic to pan and sauté until tender and translucent (4-5 minutes). Stir in kimchi and guanciale, then deglaze pan with wine. Add butter and mineral water, and toss until emulsified into a creamy sauce (15-30 seconds).
- 6Cook maltagliati in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente (2-3 minutes). Drain, add to sauce and toss to combine. Check seasoning, add lemon juice and serve with dusted with cavolo nero powder.
Note Guanciale, cured pork cheek, is available from specialist Italian butchers.
Drink Suggestion: Acme’s Gavin Wright suggests Damijan Podversic “Kaplja” Bianco 2006, Friuli.
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