By Flavor & The Menu
April 19, 2019
Fermented items like kombucha and miso have entered the limelight in recent years, but fermented pasta? Less familiar. Max Balliet, Chef/Co-Owner of Pizza Lupo, is known for his passion projects, including experimenting with fermentation.
His Fermented Jalapeño Farfalle stars egg pasta dough that takes out some of the egg white and replaces it with a purée of lacto-fermented jalapeño. “When you flavor pasta, you have to use something densely packed with flavor—the more intense the better,” he says. He then tosses the farfalle in a mixture of pasta water and housemade chickpea-miso compound butter and adds Benton’s country ham and fresh corn.
“Knowing that I wanted a spicy, sour, funky pasta flavor, I wanted to balance that with something sweet and rich,” says Balliet. “I decided to make the dish a fermentation showcase and use our chickpea miso. Chickpeas, or ceci, are the quintessential Italian legume, and they work great for miso.”
He inoculates rice with koji (fungus) spores, and then blends the spores and the rice itself with chickpeas and a healthy dose of salt. This sits for a minimum of 6 months. “The koji breaks down the starches in the chickpeas into amino acids that give an incredible umami punch, and converts starches into sugars, which makes the whole ingredient salty, sweet and unctuous,” he says.