5 Spiced Duck Leg Cappellacci

This is probably my most ambitious homemade pasta project for #RontiniFriendsgiving #RontiniParties because I had to marinate the duck legs, cook the duck legs, hand-shred the duck legs, mince/grind the duck legs through a meat grinder, make the farce, pipe the farce into the freshly made pasta dough, fold/shape the dough…

I decided to make the pasta a weekend before the actual date because there was no way that I could make pasta dough from scratch and do all of that in one day along with the other day-of Thanksgiving prep!

So here you have Cappellacci (meaning little hats) filled with 5 Spice Duck Leg with Celery in a Brown Butter Sage Sauce with Fennel, Fines Herbes, Cured Egg Yolk, and Fennel Fronds.

Plans for Friendsgiving 2019

I’m very early this year for my Friendsgiving menu plans! Inspiration started and I decided to just go with it. I’ve been usually doing dinner for four for the past couple of years because that means less glassware to clean but I want to do six people total this year… Here is what I have so far; I expect menu changes…

Egg on Egg on Egg
Sea Urchin • Soft Scramble • Trout Roe
Potato Foam • Pumpernickel Soil
(1st course)

Quail with Autumn Mushrooms
Chanterelles • King Trumpet • Cremini Purée
Rosemary • Montegrato Pedro Ximénez
(2nd course)

5 Spiced Duck Leg Cappellacci
Celery • Brown Butter • Cured Egg Yolk • Fennel
(3rd course)

Dry Aged Duck Breast
Homemade Hoisin • Pickled Cucumber • Chive Oil
(4th course)

Pear Tart
Ginger Snap • Ginger Ice Cream
(5th course)

Black Truffle Fettuccine

I’m not a truffle fanatic, I don’t go crazy for truffles. I don’t put truffles on things just for the sake of it. Sometimes when you buy truffles, they may smell like truffles but the taste isn’t there.

Anyway, the truffle in this pasta was superb. I was given a tiny knob of an already shaved truffle and was asked to make something delicious out of it. This is what I made: Housemade Fettuccine with Maitake Mushrooms in a Truffle-Thyme Cream Sauce, Shaved Black Truffle to garnish.

Fettuccine with Almond Cream & White Truffle

Remember my post, Hand-Cut Pappardelle with Almond Cream & White Truffle, when I took the picture, I forgot to put pumpernickel soil on it… which is why I created this dish because I had a lot of almond cream leftover from the pappardelle — and I didn’t want to hand-cut pappardelle again.

Here is Housemade Fettuccine with Almond Cream, Sugar Snap Peas, White Truffle Oil, Pumpernickel Soil, and Nasturtium Petals.

Hand-Cut Pappardelle with Almond Cream & White Truffle

I like to challenge myself with vegetarian and vegan dishes. More of the latter because it’s more restrictive. I’m quite proud of this dish. Here, we have Hand-Cut Pappardelle pasta in an Almond Cream with Sugar Snap Peas, Pumpernickel Soil & White Truffle Oil.

I cut the pasta sheets by hand because there isn’t a pappardelle noodle-cutter – or at least I haven’t one yet. The noodle-cutter that I have comes with a spaghetti and fettuccine setting.

There is no dairy in the almond cream. Almond cream is just puréed almonds.


Spaghetti with Lovage Pesto

Lovage. Also known as fake celery. It has a celery-like flavor but it’s not celery, it’s lovage. Why can’t we call it celery 2.0? That’s English for you.

Anyway, you wouldn’t be able to make celery pesto but you can make it with lovage. It’s a refreshing bright bite of spring!

I made this Housemade Spaghetti in Lovage Pesto with Fava Beans, English Peas, and Pumpernickel Soil.

Lobster Claw Spaghetti with Star Anise Tomato Sauce

I was mildly surprised at how well this special tomato sauce came out. The star anise flavor is very subtle. I got many compliments and positive feedback from this pasta. Some Italians even questioned if I were a spy. Aw shucks.

This Housemade Spaghetti is with Lobster Claws & Knuckles in a Star Anise Tomato Sauce, garnished with Micro Oxalis (Wood Sorrel). Of course, everything is made in-house, including the tomato sauce. We, chefs, don’t buy pre-made tomato sauces.

Winter Truffle Spaghetti

I still had some winter truffles lying around in rice a few weeks ago. *Tip, storing fresh truffles in the fridge in an airtight container with rice is the best way to keep them.

This pasta was part of a multi-course starring winter truffles for the boss man. I did a winter truffle tasting for him.

This Winter Truffle Cream with Housemade Spaghetti comes with Chopped Gambas and Thyme.

Lobster Pasta with Sea Urchin Cream

I love sea urchin/uni. Love it! Love it over sushi, love it over rice, love it by itself. But that gets expensive, so I also love it in sauces.

Note that there is actually no heavy cream in the sea urchin “cream”. It’s more like a sea urchin purée but that sounds weird.

This is Housemade Spaghetti with Lobster Claws & Knuckles in Sea Urchin Cream and Julienned Snow Peas.