Have you heard of a glittering little jewel box with colorful stained glass windows in Los Angeles called The Fig House? This bespoke event venue sparkles in the heart of burgeoning Highland Park. A place where mid-century California meets lush landscaping, and art deco glamour. This hotspot was founded by Steve Fortunato, the man behind a culinary creative catering company called Room Forty. Steve collaborated with HGTV darling, Emily Henderson, to design this spectacular space.
Steve is an expert when it comes to food, cocktails, venues and events. You could even call him a gathering guru. The best part about the whole shebang is that you do not need to host an event at this venue to enjoy the gorgeous glass-filled space that is The Fig House.
So, how does one, experience this divine place?
Make like Jack Tripper from Three's Company and pop in! Yup, The Fig House is like having a neighbor with a killer pad that hosts dinner parties. You can pop in to this restaurant without walls for an evening full of cocktails, wine and delish food. You won't even have to offer to do the dishes at the end of the night. The team behind The Fig House and Room Forty host little dinners in their private dining room every now and again. Themes include everything from Valentine's Day events to wine tasting experiences.
If you are super antsy to experience this ASAP, you can head their way on this very Sunday, February 14th. They are hosting a super cool Valentine's Day winemakers dinner with clos soléne winery with 6 courses, 5 wines and a lot of happiness :)
First buy a ticket. Then, on Sunday you will drive up to the art deco doors, walk down an ivy-filled path past the rich hued windows and you will be greeted by a glorious garden. Next, you will spot what looks like a secret passage that leads to glamorous dining room wrapped in patterned wallpaper. This is where you will feast until you are full and happy.
If you can't quite make it this year, don't fret. We asked Steve and his team to share one of the homemade pasta recipes they will be creating for the dinner!
The best part about making pasta is that you can do with with a group or loved one. Making pasta is not a solo sport. It is WAY more fun with wine and friends which is PERFECTO for your Valentine's or Galentine's celebration.
From The Culinary Team of Room Forty & Fig House
Valentine’s Day is known as a holiday where you are obligated to go out, there are pre fixe menus that don’t allow for individuality or a catered to experience and long waits are expected. The fun of the holiday, especially for couples celebrating their 7th or 8th Valentine’s Day together, becomes a burden instead of an opportunity to enjoy something with your partner.
In light of this, we think making pasta in your home is an amazing way to bond, create a memorable experience with your partner and indulge in the comfort of a food made for these types of opportunity.
The Beauty of Pasta
For us, pasta is the quintessential comfort food. Look up “comfort food” on Wikipedia, and you’ll find a hearty debate on the validity, origin, cultural acceptance/rejection of the term. Memories and food go hand in hand, so for us, comfort food just means food that brings back memories, while making us feel good and nurtured when we eat it. The best comfort food is simple, while still being great quality. Quality comes from the combination of right ingredients with right procedure.
Once you’ve made your pasta, a holiday gives you a great reason to buy toppings or additives that are unique and out of the norm. We will be doing tableside shavings of black truffle this year. You could also invest in quality specialty salt or caviar.
Must Read: Important Pasta Making Tips
The key to fresh pasta is using the right flour. 00 Flour (doppio or double zero flour) can be purchased at specialty food shops. (L.A. residents, Surfas or Gourmet Imports carries 00 flour). Whole Foods carries semolina flour but does not carry 00. Do not bother going through the trouble of making fresh pasta if you’re going to use all purpose flour. This year for our Valentine’s Day Winemaker dinner we will be using chestnut flour.
The recipe below is for filled pasta—agnolotti or ravioli. For un-filled pasta, use half semolina flour and half 00 flour, and use whole eggs instead of egg yolks.
In the spirit of simplicity, we make our dough in a standing mixer. It works great, makes less of a mess, but, of course, isn’t as fun. If you do want to get the gooey hand thing going, go for it! Pour your flour on a work surface, make a well in the middle, put the wet ingredients into the well, mix and knead until baby bum texture is achieved.
Pasta recipes are not exact science due to the varying sizes of egg yolks. Some yolks are large, resulting in dough that is more wet, while some yolks are smaller resulting in drier dough. Keep a few tablespoons of water on hand to balance the moisture.
You can use any filling for filled pasta—vegetable purees, mixtures of cheeses, meats. Just remember for the actual pasta you’re using a pinch of salt for all of the pasta, so filling needs to be very seasoned so that you maintain flavor when your filling is covered with the pasta.
- 1 lb Flour
- Pinch of Salt (kosher or sea salt)
- 15 Egg Yolks
- 1/4 Cup of White Wine (the secret!)
- 1/8 Cup of Olive Oil
- 3 Egg Yolks
- 1 Tbsp Water
- Put flour and salt into standing mixer. Add yolks and liquids. Mix at medium speed for 4 minutes using a dough hook.
- Form dough into ball shape.
- Cover dough ball with plastic wrap or damp towel. Dough always needs to be moist, and needs to be kept from drying
- The dough needs to rest. We recommend at least 2 to 3 hours, covered, in a refrigerator. You can let the dough rest in the fridge up to 3 days.
- Slice 1/8 of the ball into your portion. Whatever dough is unused can be frozen. Thaw at room temperature before using.
- Flatten dough portion with a rolling pin so that it can be fed through pasta machine.
- Set pasta crank on “2” and feed dough through pasta machine. You will have a long rectangle.
- Take one end of the rectangle, and fold into the middle of the dough. Take the other end and fold into the middle of the rectangle. Take the “3-layered” rectangle and pass through pasta machine again with the thickness setting at “2”.
- Set thickness dial to “3”, and pass pasta through. Set thickness dial to “4” and repeat.
- Place long pasta rectangle on work floured work surface. Trim round edges to form straight ends. You’re ready to fill or prepare as spaghetti or fettuccine!
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