You know when sometimes when you are hungry for something really good but just too lazy to make anything that can take more than 10 minutes?, it was one of those days that I was craving for something that was either sour or sweet. All I had at home at that time, that was sour and sweet were some clementines. And thus, as a result of extreme inertness, this dish was born and yet there’s nothing I would change in it even if I have more time to spare.
As a kid, I remember my grand mother helping me peel mandarins. She would peel them by hand and give me tiny pockets of mandarins. I put each “pocket” in my mouth and they would burst into a tangy sweet juice. Later, I would play with mandarin skin, pretending it to be a perfume and squirt the orange oil from the skin to my shirt and my hands. I would keep sniffing my hands all day. Even today mandarin/orange peels remind me of those days, when i was “too small” to peel mandarins.The Indian Summers, when it got too hot outside,we ate mandarins as snacks,we drank water from earthen pots, Rasna- orange flavored concentrate and lots of ‘lassis’ to keep cool.
Years later, I’m still fond of lassis, lemon juices and tangerines in summers.Except now I can peel them on my own and know better to use the peels in my food and not just to rub it on my hands. But if someone offers to peel oranges, open boiled whole peanuts out of shell, cut me some raw mangoes and season it with chili powder and salt, i would say “yes, please”,cross my legs and sit down next to them, with a huge smile of course.
This dish is a big reminder of summer with fresh flavors of clementines – a family of orange and close to mandarins but are little more tangier than mandarins.So, clementines make a good choice in this dish because neither are they very sour nor or they too sweet .Adding citron in this recipe adds a beautiful sour undertone and yet it is not so sour that it takes up the whole dish. So before you add the citron, taste your clementine juice and you can adjust the citron depending on how tangy or sweet you want the sauce the to be.
Pasta with clementine and citron
Tagliatelle – 2 portions
Olive oil – 1 tablespoon
Garlic – 1 no
Chili flakes – 1/2 teaspoon
Clementine juice – 5 tablespoon or of 2 tangerines
Citron juice – 1 teaspoon
Clementine zest – of 1 clementine
Egg yolk – 1
Rosemary – 1 teaspoon
Fill a pot with water and add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and let it boil, Once it has come to a boil, add the pasta and let them boil according to the instruction given in the pasta package
In a sauce pan, add olive oil in medium heat. Finely slice garlic and add it to the pan and fry it for minute, garlic doesn’t have to turn burn.
Add the chili flakes and do not let them sit for long in the pan since they are dry, they can burn very fast. If you are adding fresh chilies, saute them for 10 seconds.
Add the clementine and citron juice along with zest. Increase the heat and let the juice come to a boil.
Add the cooked pasta and add some of the water the pasta was cooking in. Season the dish with salt and add the rosemary.
Take the pan off heat and add egg yolk. Keep stirring the pasta with spoon or using tongs that way the eggs is mixed thoroughly. Get it back on heat and let it sit only for until when you see the sauce starting to boil, takes about 5 seconds.
Adding the egg yolk makes the extra water and the juices to come together into a silky smooth custard like sauce. If the sauce looks too thick, add some more of the pasta water and if it is too thin, let it sit on the heat for few more seconds and it will thicken. You can add some grated Parmesan or Gruyere while serving.
For a vegetarian version of the dish, leave out the eggs. It tastes just as good. It goes really well with some baked salmon, chicken fillet or with some blanched asparagus