Challenge recipe #3 was another difficult one. The book, The Renaissance of Italian Cooking by Lorenza De'Medici is gorgeous. Pictures of the different regions of Italy, beautiful houses, stunning food photos. But when it came to choosing a recipe to cook....
Spinach Sautéed in Garlic (Spinaci all'Aglio)? Boring. Not very challenge-ish.
Fresh Sardines Baked in Breadcrumbs (Sarde al Pangrattato)? Sounds good, but I have never seen fresh sardines here (or anywhere, for that matter).
Stuffed Rabbit (Coniglio Ripieno), which isn't really stuffed like you'd stuff a chicken, but instead laid out flat, topped with pancetta, egg frittata and mortadella, then rolled up and baked. Sweet Jesus, I want this right now. But have you seen the price of rabbit these days?
So I settled on Angel Hair Pasta Croquettes with Cheese (Crocchette di Capelli d'Angelo). You cook angel hair pasta, mix in eggs & parmesan, shape into balls, and stick a cheese cube in the middle. Coat in egg, then in breadcrumbs, and deep fry. Sounds good, a little like arancini, stuffed leftover-risotto balls (delicious), but with pasta instead of rice.
STOP! Don't try to make these. There was no way these were ever going to be shaped into "walnut-sized balls". I tried cutting the pasta into shorter pieces. I tried chilling it. I tried adding more egg. Then more cheese. No dice. I ended up frying the pasta in a skillet, with the cubes of cheese nestled into the pasta. Even that didn't work too well, because the 2nd side burned a little because I didn't add more oil when I flipped it. And it tasted like, well, fried pasta.
I should've made the rabbit.