Crawfish and Pappardelle Pasta With Ramp Greens Purée and Uni Butter
Serves 4. Recipe by Aaron Burgau, chef-owner of Patois restaurant in New Orleans, is the winning dish at the seventh annual Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off.
2 quarts water
12 ramp tops, green part only
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 lb. high-fat, unsalted butter such as Plugra
8 ozs. uni
Salt and pepper
12 ozs. fresh pappardelle pasta
1 tbl. canola oil
2 tsps. diced shallot
2 tsps. minced garlic
1/2 lb. crawfish tails
4 tbls. crawfish stock
1. For the Ramp Purée: Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Blanch ramp greens for 10 seconds and then shock in ice water. Press greens between two towels to remove all excess moisture. To the bowl of a blender or food processor, add blanched ramp greens, olive oil, salt and pepper and blend on high until smooth. Remove to a bowl and set aside.
2. Prepare the uni butter: Cut butter into small cubes and allow to soften. Add butter, uni, salt and pepper to the bowl of a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed.
3. For the crawfish pasta: Bring a half-gallon of water to a rolling boil. Add pasta and cook for 3 minutes. Drain. In a sauté pan, add canola oil and place over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic; sweat for 10 seconds. Add crawfish and sauté for another 20 seconds, then add stock. Add the cooked pasta and toss well.
4. Finish the dish: In a large, stainless work bowl, add 4 teaspoons of uni butter. Add the prepared crawfish and pasta; toss well. Adjust seasoning. Divide finished pasta into four serving dishes. Garnish each bowl with teaspoon of ramp purée.
Editor’s note: Pappardelle are flat, long and very wide noodles sometimes with rippled edges. Ramp is a wild onion, also known as wild leek, and can be found in specialty produce markets in the spring. Uni, used in sushi, is the Japanese name for the edible part of the sea urchin.