Brian Wallace, a sous chef at The Broadmoor, recently taught a pasta class at Williams-Sonoma. Photo by Teresa J. Farney
The Broadmoor's chefs have all but changed their names to Luigi and Giuseppe in preparation for the grand opening of Ristorante del Lago.
"We are so excited about the new restaurant," said Brian Wallace, a sous chef at the resort. "It's going to be very Italian. We have a huge pasta-making machine that we will use to make fresh pasta throughout the day."
David Patterson, executive sous chef for all restaurants at The Broadmoor, and Justin Miller, chef de cuisine of Ristorante del Lago, traveled to Italy to study cooking techniques and to source some of the ingredients that will be used at the new restaurant. Maria Lovisolo, the 84-year-old chef of the Ristorante Viletta in Piemonte, taught them methods for pasta dough and they brought back her recipe for chefs to use at Ristorante del Lago, which opens May 19.
"For home cooking, I like to use my KitchenAid mixer fitted with the bread hook," Wallace said. "A food processor overdevelops the gluten. Overworked dough forms strands of gluten, which are not pleasant to eat."
Be forewarned: You'll need a scale to make this recipe. Wallace prepared ravioli filled with fresh ricotta and bathed in his homemade tomato sauce. He made the pasta by combining 600 grams of flour (about 5 cups), a couple of teaspoons of salt and about a teaspoon of pepper in the mixing bowl. In another bowl, he combined a whole egg with 382 grams of egg yolks (about 20 yolks).
"Add the eggs gradually," he said. "If you add the eggs all at once, you'll end up with a gloppy mess. You might need to add a little water. You want the dough to form a ball."
Once the dough comes together, package it in plastic wrap and let it rest an hour in the refrigerator. During that time the gluten in the flour will relax, making it easier to run through a pasta roller.
"Another reason I like the KitchenAid is because you can get a pasta roller attachment," Wallace said. "It works really great, or you can buy a pasta roller that attaches to the counter with clamps."
While the dough was resting, he made the tomato sauce. His cooking tips included:
- Blanch tomatoes to peel them easily. Cut an "x" in the bottom of each tomato. Place a few at a time into almost boiling water. When the skin starts to blister and peel, scoop out the tomatoes and place them into a bowl of ice water. This stops the cooking and lets you easily peel off the skin.
- You can use canned tomatoes.
- Use a wooden spoon to stir the sauce.
- Don't chop garlic too fine because it will burn quickly and ruin the sauce. You'll have to start over if the garlic burns.
- Add carrot for sweetness.
- Season the sauce in layers. Taste as you go and adjust the seasoning.
- Add crushed red-pepper flakes after the sauce has been pureed. Don't cook them in the sauce because they get hotter the longer they are cooked.
- Sauce the pasta lightly.
"Pasta is the star," Wallace said. "It's not about the sauce or the filling of the ravioli. It's about the pasta."
And of course it will be the star at the new restaurant. In addition to pasta, some of the other dishes that Patterson and Miller learned from Lovisolo include carna cruda (finely minced raw beef), roasted pepper with bagna cauda (made from anchovies that are mashed with olive oil, butter and garlic, and then kept warm over a burner, somewhat like a fondue), and finanziera (a mixture of organ meats).
Other regions of Italy where ideas were gleaned for the new menu are Treviso, Verona, Alba, Asti, Fornovo di Taro, Parma, Emilia-Romagna, Modena, Chianti, Rome and Florence.
The restaurant will feature an area for cheese making and storage and an area for making fresh and aged sausages.
Ristorante del Lago will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week.
"As chefs, we are super excited about the authenticity of this restaurant," he said. "All the chefs are eager to have a chance to work in the new place, especially the apprentices."
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