When drawing a landscape or sculpting a figure – it is not necessarily an imitation or defying nature. It is nature that inspires us. The same is in the world of cooking: the beauty of creating recipes is to stand on the shoulders of some classic recipe and give it a twist, a personal interpretation of our own.
Fettuccine blends perfectly with spinach and cream. This pasta with the “thick and meaty” body creates an ‘Al Dente’ texture that together with the delicate velvety sauce makes a real delicacy.
Since I am now in my “Yolk Period”, I could not resist the temptation and added to this fine classic dish a vegan egg yolk – one that reacts like a real egg yolk – which you can prick or break with bread.
It is true that compared to the yolk sauce which is very easy to make – my journey of trial & error in creating a yolk membrane – was not a rose garden, but rather a challenging task.
I admit that during the practice, I had heretical thoughts such as:
Who says you have to stick to the yolk’s original DNA?
Or: If I miss breaking an egg yolk with bread – I can always pop bubble wrap instead! 😊
Or: Instead of breaking down vegan yolks – maybe it’s better to “break up” with some of the conventions that have taken root in me, the ones that have long since become irrelevant?
Or: Basically, all I wanted was to just mark it with √ and move on. Since I met the challenge with some success – I can save the recipe for special occasions only and forget about it for a while.
However, at the end of this yolk marathon, after a series of stubborn attempts that resulted in improved technique and a trick or two – I realized that it was not complicated at all.
Moreover, the hassle is one hundred percent worth the fun of dipping bread or challah in a vegan egg, or pricking the yolk and watching enchanted how it drips on a dish and gives it a delightful transformation!
So after cracking the method (and some vegan yolks as well) I really don’t mind fooling around sometimes and continuing with these yolk games until further notice😜
Feel free to join the game: please welcome the recipe for fettuccine in Florentine sauce with the addition of a vegan yolk that can be pricked!
A demo video for creating the yolk membrane – awaits you below. Enjoy❤️
About 4 servings
- 500 grams vegan fettuccine
spinach & cream sauce
- A little vegan butter or olive oil
- 6 cloves minced garlic or to taste
- 200-250 grams fresh spinach washed and coarsely chopped
- 2 cups coconut cream or 18% fat coconut milk
- ½ cup nutritional yeast
- 2 tsp vegetable soup powder optional
- pinch salt, pepper, nutmeg
- pinch lemon zest optional, to taste
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- ½ tsp sodium alginate
- ⅛ tsp paprika
- ⅛ tsp turmeric
- ⅓ cup vegan butter
- ⅓ cup water
- ⅓ cup unsweetened plant based milk almond milk or soy milk
- ¼-½ tsp annatto oil Optional – (For an orange hue – it is advisable to add gradually)
- ¼ tsp black salt
Double Spherification (to form the yolk membrane)
Calcium Chloride Solution
- 400 ml water
- 1 tsp calcium chloride – about 6 grams
Sodium Alginate Solution
- 1000 ml water
- ½ tbsp sodium alginate
- 1000 ml water
- vegan egg yolks, vegan parmesan, lemon zest, black pepper
- Prepare the sodium alginate solution:Mix the water with the sodium alginate in the blender for a few minutes until homogeneous. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least an hour to remove the bubbles. Remove from the refrigerator early enough so it will reach room temperature. (The alginate solution can be prepared a few days in advance).
- Boil water for pasta. In the meantime prepare the sauce.
Cream and spinach sauce
- Melt the butter over a medium-low flame.
- Add crushed garlic and fry for a few seconds until a delicious smell is obtained.
- Add the chopped spinach, mix well and sauté for 2-3 minutes until it reduces slightly in volume.
- Add coconut cream, brewer's yeast flakes, soup powder (optional), salt, pepper and nutmeg. Cook for about 5 minutes. If too thick add water gradually. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Cook the fettuccine according to the manufacturer's instructions – until an al dente texture is obtained; Filter into a pot: Place the strainer on an empty pot and strain over the fettuccine* see note
- Mix for pasta a teaspoon of olive oil and cover with a lid (above the strainer); That way the warm water underneath will keep our pasta warm.
- Add the fettuccine to the sauce and mix gently with two spoons; Cook for 2-3 minutes. Keep warm, or heat slightly prior to serving.
- In a small bowl mix milk and water and set aside.
- In another small bowl mix all the dry ingredients, except the black salt, and set aside.
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter over a low heat.
- Add the dry ingredients except the black salt and mix well.
- Add the water and milk gradually while stirring, increase to a medium-low heat.
- Cook until simmering, or until it reaches the desired consistency. If the mixture is too thick, add a little water gradually. Remove from heat.
- At this point you can add annatto oil gradually until the desired color is obtained. Please note that even without Annatto you will get a beautiful yellow color. Annatto oil gives the yolk a yellow- orange hue.
- Cool the mixture for 2-3 minutes.
- Add black salt and mix well
Calcium chloride solution
- Pour the water into a bowl so you can work comfortably.
- Add the Calcium Chloride to the bowl and mix well until the calcium chloride dissolves. Set aside.
Sodium Alginate Solution
- If you haven't done it earlier – take out the sodium alginate solution from the fridge at least an hour in advance – so that our precious yolks don't catch a cold 😉
- Transfer the yolk sauce to a measuring cup with a spout – like OXO – it will be more convenient.
- Arrange side by side the Calcium Chloride bowl, the Sodium alginate bowl, and the rinse bath.
- Make sure to have at hand: a measuring spoon, 2 standard spoons and a .timer
Creating The Yolk Membrane
- dip a measuring tablespoon in the Calcium Chloride solution; Then pour into a tablespoon of the yolk sauce – this will make it easier for us to shape a yolk; immerse the spoon in the Calcium Chloride solution gently, vertically –so that the face of the spoon is turned upwards, for 30 seconds (this is why you need the bowl – more ergonomically comfortable); Turn the spoon gently (when it is inside the solution) and gently release it from the yolk.After about 20 seconds, turn it carefully to make sure the yolk is evenly coated. Don't touch the yolk directly, but "make waves" around it – pushing the surrounding solution with a standard spoon – it will turn over like a fetus in the womb (sorry for the image, I couldn't help it 😉
- Leave the yolk in the calcium chloride solution for another 10-40 seconds; It is not recommended to leave it in the calcium solution for more than a total of one and a half minutes.
- It requires some practice– but don't worry – after several attempts, you, too, will catch the technique –I promise!
- Using a standard spoon carefully remove the yolk from the calcium chloride solution, Make sure to drain the rest of the calcium chloride solution from the spoon, so that only the yolk will remain in the spoon without any liquids, then transfer it to the Sodium Alginate solution. After about a minute turn the yolk carefully so that the yolk is evenly coated with the solution. Don't touch the yolk directly, but "make waves" around it – pushing the surrounding solution with a standard spoon until the yolk flips over.
- !Leave the yolk in the solution for a total time of 2-3 minutes – no more.
- Please note: it's essential to keep the time to maintain the texture of the yolk – otherwise, it may thicken/harden too much. On the other hand, too short will not be enough to create a sufficiently durable membrane.
- Gently transfer the yolk, using a spoon to the pre-prepared rinsing bath, to rinse off the rest of the excess solutions. Carefully turn to wash it from all sides.
- Remove, the yolk, with the help of a spoon from the water and serve. If not served immediately, keep the yolks in the water bath; It is not recommended to leave them in the water for more than an hour – they may lose their texture.
- Put fettuccine on a pasta plate, making sure each diner gets a generous serving of the delicious sauce.
- Using two spoons, form a dimple in the center of each plate and gently place egg yolk, which we created earlier.
- Add parmesan, ground black pepper and some lemon zest; Now you can ❤️finally prick the yolk and enjoy
- It is recommended, at least initially, when you are still practicing and acquiring skills, to work with a timer.
- It is not recommended to keep prepared egg yolks in the refrigerator (in a container with water) – their texture and flavor will change. It is better to make them near serving.
- If you keep track of exactly the instructions and quantities– you are guaranteed success.
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