Be here with myself, quietly
Red Prawn Fettuccine
我拿出搪瓷長盤，打開雪櫃把要用的材料一一拿出放到盤裡。紅蝦、小番茄、番茜和雞蛋。雪櫃門輕輕關好，因為地面有點不平，門要拉着輕放才不會回撞上雪櫃，轉身踮起腳伸手拿過架頂上的 00 號麵粉，放到盤裡。蒜頭就在流理台的一角，剝下兩瓣來，放到盤裡。最後在酒櫃拿出小瓶白酒。都預備好了。
Pushing open the kitchen windows brought in humid spring breeze and music by the chirping birds showing up after rain.
I took my enamel tray out, filling it in with the ingredients I needed from the fridge – red prawns, baby tomatoes, parsley and eggs. I gently closed the fridge door for not banging it onto the fridge since the floor was a bit uneven, and tiptoed to reach my tipo 00 flour. The garlic bulb was just at the corner of the counter top. I peeled two cloves off and put them into the tray. Lastly, I grabbed a small bottle of white wine from the cellar. All set for cooking.
Cooking a dish I crave for is not just about contentment on taste buds but also a therapeutic time in which I can untangle my emotions. Whether it is pasta making or bread dough kneading, brewing scallion oil or simply cracking eggs, as long as I am in the kitchen, pouring my attention on my ten fingertips, focusing on the prep work, listening to the oil sizzling, smelling the garlic fragrance filled the air, watching the prawns turning from translucent to opaque and having my mind devoted to my manual work, it’s therapeutic. Let bygones be bygones, let the future stay in the future, putting all the loose ends of wandering thoughts back in place and bringing your awareness back to present. It’s only when one’s mind quiets down, her inner voice is listened, her ingredients in hands are listened. I adore this scene in the film 《An》- the old lady Kiki Kirin played was cooking candied red beans in a heavy pot. She listened to the sounds in the pot carefully and knew when delicious candied red beans were ready. It’s all seen by the mind.
Cooking is a journey of meeting lives, as well as a quiet encounter with oneself.
00 號麵粉 100克
白酒 ¼ 杯
Red Prawn Fettuccine (for 1)
Fettuccine ingredients (2 portions):
Tipo 00 flour 100g
Egg yolks 70g
Red prawns in shell 4pcs
Baby tomatoes 3pcs
Garlic 1 clove
Fresh parsley A small bunch
White wine ¼ cup
Dried chili flakes A pinch
Sea salt A pinch
Black pepper A pinch
Rice bran oil ½ cup（or vegetable of your choice）
Making the fettuccine （or you can use dried ones）：
- Place the flour in a mound on the countertop of in a mixing bowl. Dig a well in the middle of the mound and add the yolks in.
- Whisk the yolks from the centre with a fork to incorporate the flour around.
- After you have a shabby dough, knead it with hands until it has a smooth surface.
- Wrap the dough in cling film and let it rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Take the dough out, roll it even and slightly flatter, and cut it into 2 equal halves。
- Attach the pasta roller on your food processor. Feed the dough through the roller twice in the widest setting.
- Reduce the width setting, feed the pasta sheet into the roller twice。
- Reduce the width setting again, feed the pasta sheet into the roller twice. The pasta sheets now should be 1-2mm thick.
- Dust your pasta sheets with flour.
- Attach the fettuccine cutter to the food processor, feed the cutter with the pasta sheets. Dust the fresh fettuccine with flour
- Set one portion aside. Wrap another portion in cling film, and then put it in an airtight box. It can be kept for 1 day in the fridge.
- Wash and dry the prawns. Remove the heads and shells, dry and set aside. Devein the prawn, set aside。
- Heat ½ cup of oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Add the prawn heads and shells, cook in medium heat till the oil turns red and fragrant. Sieve the shells, keep the oil and set aside.
- Peel and slice the garlic, half the baby tomatoes, roughly chop the parsley. Separate the leaves from stalks.
- Boil a pot of water.
- Heat up another pan over medium heat. Add oil, garlic, tomatoes, dried chili flakes and parsley stalk. Add white wine after you can smell the fragrance of garlic.
- Add the pasta to boil water, cook for 3 minutes, or if you use dried pasta, cook till slightly under al dante. Keep the pasta water.
- When the sauce in the pan is slightly reduced,add the prawns. Add the fettuccine when the prawns are half cooked.
- Add sea salt, black pepper and half a ladle of pasta water, stir well. Add more pasta water if needed.
- When the sauce is reduced, the prawns are almost done, add the parsley leaves and mix well.
- Add a drizzle of prawn oil before serving.
It’s raining outside, crisp and bleak. Three chubby sparrows took shelter on my balcony and I gave them the baguette bits left on my breakfast plate but they flew away. I stayed in, played Damien Rice on vinyl and made apple crumble. Repeat.