Pasta with beef garum, barba di frate & preserved lemon
It is hot in Vienna these days and the last thing you want is to create an additional heat source by cooking stews or bone broth. Nonetheless - one has to eat and before heading back to the shadiness of a huge oak tree (if you have one) or more like me to lovely humming of my ventilator - something tasty, but quick needs to land on a plate.
Beef garum is the essence of beef. With the aid of koji a thick, brown sauce can be harvested after several month of fermentation. Umami magic! That is pretty much all you need to turn pasta into great pasta.
Barba di frate is hard to get in Austria. I discovered it years ago in Italy where in May all the markets are full with this grassy, citric vegetable. My favourite gardener grows it here though and therefore I always buy pretty much the entire harvest because I love it so much.
Zutaten für 2 Personen
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 green chili
80g barba di frate (alternativly: peas, fava beans, zucchini)
80g shiitake mushrooms
30g preserved lemon
1 tablespoon of beef garum
In a large bot bring water to a boil, salt and cook the pasta (details far pasta cooking see below)
In the mean time cut the garlic and chili into small slices, cut shiitake mushrooms and barbe di fratte in half. Preserved lemons into small cubes - skins only.
In a large pan - I use a wok skillet - heat olive oil and put in garlic and chili. When the garlic starts to turn brownish add the shiitake mushrooms and after a minute of cooking time - the barbe di fratte.
Good pasta is primarily a question of timing. There is something that I have seen Italians do on a broad scale that still seems to be a well hidden kitchen secret.
Finish your pasta in the "sugo pan"
There is several ways to do it. First of all you need to find the right point in time. If your pasta indicates 9 minutes till al-dente- fish them out at minute 7. The pasta should still be very very al-dente. You can either drain the pasta (but save enough of the cooking liquid) or the way I do it is by going fishing in the cooking pot.
Toss all pasta into the sugo pan with the mushrooms and the barbe di fratte and add enough cooking liquid. Stir it plenty. The pasta should absorb all the cooking liquid - at the end add the garum and the preserved lemons. If all liquid is gone and your pasta is still al-dente you made it.
This is a little bit of try and error, but once you figured it out - I am sure you will always cook pasta this way.
Plate & enjoy. You can add parmesan cheese if you wish - but the garum provides pleny of umami in this case.