Monday, November 9, 2020

#FrannyCooks : Uni Cream Pasta

If you're going to sum up my life quarantining myself at home this 2020 -- it just be about 4 things. FAMILY. WORK. FOOD. DANCING. 

Actually, the last one is very new.. like 2 weeks new. Yet, I'm glad that I finally took the first step to be a bit more active as I've spent 9 months sitting on my office chair from 9am to 12mn with very minimal toilet, eating, walking-around-the-house breaks in between. Such sedentary life I've led and it doesn't help that I've been stress-eating like crazy too. Sushi Bakes, Milk Tea, Sweets, Carbs, Carbs, and more Carbs. I realized though that I can't just rely on diets and when I'm hungry.. I get incredibly cranky and moody and that's no good especially for the welfare of the people around me. So.. I decided that if you can't beat 'em (food) then just burn 'em (calories!). So yes, 2 weeks ago, I signed up for my first ever dance workout class and I got to say that I was super out of shape. I no longer recognize the old me who would go to the gym 3x a week, who is addicted to indoor cycling and who counts calories. Huhu... I need that "me" back someday. 

frannycooks uni 3
Anyways, so over the weekend I was so excited because I got a fresh tub of sea urchin (uni) from an online store called Meal Grocer. This is also owned by the folks behind Stip's Chips and many other food brands so you're assured that you're buying well-curated items from them. They've been my go-to for Japanese/Korean ingredients and it was just perfect timing that I chanced upon Jan's announcement that they got a new batch of uni arriving last Saturday. I held back for a bit but eventually, I caved. Transaction was a breeze and also ordered a tube of wasabi to go with it too. Within an hour, I got my orders here with me. 

frannycooks uni 2
Look at how fresh it was! I was so busy all morning till noon so I just carefully stored the uni in the chiller as instructed. When I finally got the time to open it, I felt my mouth water at these buttery smooth uni "tongues". I couldn't help it. I opened the tube of wasabi, got some Kikkoman soy sauce and got my chopsticks. I tried a few pieces and it was goooood. Paul wasn't in the mood to join me for my impromptu uni snack then but as he had it for dinner that evening, he told me that it was indeed very good. 

However, my parents do not like raw uni so they passed on this one. I do not want them to miss out on it though so the next day, I decided to use half of the remaining uni and created a pasta dish. It was my first time to make this and I did a bit of research the night before as I went through several uni pasta recipes until I tried to create one on my own. So.. here goes! 

Uni Cream Pasta alla Frannywanny 

What you'll need: 
- 2 cups of farfalle noodles or penne (I like these types of pasta because they help "scoop" up the sauce in every bite) 
- Garlic, chopped
- Fresh uni 
- 1 box of all-purpose cream
- Olive oil 
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Optional: Chili flakes or lemon 

Here are the super easy steps: 
1) Cook the pasta noodles based on the instructions in the packaging. Make sure to add some salt to flavor the water. 
2) In a separate pan, sauté the garlic in olive oil, continue to sauté and watch out that it won't brown. 
3) Add in the cream and let it simmer. 
4) Once you see it starting to bubble, add in your uni. Continue to stir. Turn off heat. 
5) Add in your cooked pasta and season with salt and pepper.
6) Return to heat and just let it simmer till the sauce thickens. 

It's very easy to make and in fact, it makes use of just 6-7 main ingredients. I personally like preparing pasta because the steps are always so easy and you are allowed to be really creative. It reminds me of my best friend's mom, Auntie B who never creates the same spaghetti twice. So, when T and I were in high school and we would share our lunch with one another, I would notice that T's spaghetti would always taste different each time. That inspired me so much to make pasta and to allow myself to be really creative each time. Someday, I hope I can be like Auntie B who would create pasta baons for my twins and I would just surprise them with whatever I would create each time. 

Check out Meal Grocer on Viber and Instagram to enjoy those fresh uni yourself. Bon appetit! 
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