What’s In That? Smoked Beet Corzetti
The dishes at Audra and Alan Sternberg’s wildly inventive Common House pop-up dinner series include such inspired creations as this riff on a pasta house classic.
Red Boat brand fish sauce, which is as close to the Roman condiment garum as Sternberg can find, gives a meaty depth to a sauce enriched with butter and white wine. To give the dish a smoky edge and a look reminiscent of pasta carbonara (the dish invented for Italian charcoal workers, from which Sternberg took his inspiration), the chef burns beet skins to create an ash, then smokes the beets over low heat until he can slice them to reveal dark- and light-red rings. Sternberg ordered a special stamp to press out the coin-sized rounds of this hand-rolled pasta that was traditionally a sign of wealth. The dough for the pasta combines imported “00” wheat flour with plenty of egg yolks, white wine, and the juice of golden beets, all of which produces a sumptuous texture and sunny hue. Cream cheese, buttermilk, and slightly softer French feta are blended into a silky mousse before being drizzled over the pasta. Hand-torn basil offers an aromatic finish for this opulent dish.