When I first learnt about Chef Spotlight Dinners organised by Joelen of Joelen’s Culinary Event I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to showcase another raw dish and to learn about those chefs who specialise in preparing (and popularizing) raw cuisine. Among the key names that I came across (and whose work really resonated with me) were Chad Sarno, Sarma Melngailis, and Roxanne Klein. However, for this challenge I decided to prepare a recipe by the British raw chef, Russell James. Like the other chefs mentioned I like his fun and inventive use of ingredients and colour. I also realize that I am most drawn to those chefs who approach raw cuisine as another healthy alternative to conventional food preparation rather than an all-or-nothing ideological dogma.
This recipe is a raw pasta ‘linguine’ of carrot and parsnips, combined with a red pepper sauce and faux mozzarella sauce. As parsnips are insanely expensive here I substituted zucchini, and for the same reason cashews stood in place of macadamias. This pasta was also the perfect chance to whip out my recently purchased mandolin.
I haven’t worked with one in years and it definitely made making perfect julienned ‘noodles’ hassle-free in a fraction of the time! In the future however I think I will stick to making raw pasta with my vegetable peeler.
It was after 10p.m. when I began making this recipe and close to 11p.m by the time I finished. I hadn’t ate much that day so you can only imagine my immense disappointment when, just a several bites in, a familiar cluster of symptoms began to develop and I had to push my plate away. Subsequent internet research revealed that nutritional yeast (one of the recipe’s ingredients) often contains free glutamic acids, similar to MSG, and was no doubt the reason for the sudden onset of discomfort that I experienced This problem only happens with nutritional yeasts dried at high temperatures. Nutritional yeasts developed at a low temperature, such as Frontier Nutritional Yeast, are supposed to be free of glutamic acids. Good to know for the future!
You’ll be happy to know however that while I tried to contain the dizziness and intense fatigue that was setting in J was scraping the bottom of the bowl and licking his lips! Not only did he love this dish (and took the leftovers home with him), my parents did as well, so I do feel confident in saying that if you don’t have MSG sensitivity you probably will love it as well.
Tomato & Macadamia Mozzarella Linguine
Source: Chef Russell James
Makes 5 starter portions
500 g carrots (about 4 medium carrots, peeled)
500 g parsnip (about 4 medium parsnips, peeled)
1/2 T salt
15 large basil leaves, chiffonade
2 T Italian seasoning
2 c baby plum tomatoes, cut into small sections
1/2 c macadamias
1/2 c cashews
1 T Nama Shoyu or Tamari
2 t lemon juice
1/4 c water
1 T nutritional yeast
Red Pepper Sauce
1/2 c pine nuts
1 red pepper
1/2 T lemon juice
1 T Nama Shoyu or Tamari
1 T agave
1. Turn the carrot and parsnip into thin strands with a mandonline.or vegetable peeler. You can also make spaghetti using a spiral slicer.
2. In a bowl combine the vegetable pasta (linguine)you have produced with the salt and mix well by hand. Leave to stand whilst preparing the mozzarella.
3. Combine all mozzarella ingredients in a Vita Mix or food processor (a Vita Mix isn’t a food processor, it’s more of a blender but no other blender that I know of is suitable to make the cheese so an ‘ordinary’ processor is the next best thing). Blend until a creamy texture is achieved, you may need to add a couple of tablespoons of extra water to get it all to mix. Set aside.
4. Mix all Red Pepper sauce ingredients in a Vita Mix or blender until smooth(blender is ok for this at the mixture is saucier than the cheese). Again, you may need to add water to get a ’sauce’ consistency.
5. Go back to the linguine and you should find that it has released it’s water and is now softer and has a cooked ‘al dente’ feel about it. Wash the salt off and dry with kitchen towel or a salad spinner.
6. Transfer linguine to a clean, dry bowl and add the remaining linguine ingredients. When thoroughly mixed add the macadamia cheese ans mix again by hand to coat all linguine in the cheese mixture.
7. Serve with the Red Pepper sauce. For the dinner party I built the pasta up in a metal ring that I bought from a cookshop and then removed the ring so you get a pasta ‘tower’. I then put the sauce in a sauce drizzle bottle and drizzled over the top. You can also garnish with more chiffonade of basil.SOURCE: TheRawChefBlog.com