Itís Friday morning and Derek Gallegos, owner of and head chef at Three Ten Main, is creating fresh pasta for this eveningís menu, a staple at his handsome, year-old restaurant on Main Street in Hailey.
For years, Gallegos has made his own pasta. But a trip to Parma, Italy, in 2007 brought renewed inspiration. Parma, home to the original prosciutto, Parmesan cheese and other Italian classics, has the best "cheese, pasta, butter, cream, everything," said Gallegos. While on the continent, he took a pasta-making class in which students used a meter-long rolling pin to flatten the dough. In his kitchen at Three Ten Main, however, Gallegos uses an electric pasta maker.
While Italian chefs are quick to eschew the use of technology, Gallegos has little choice. "We make so much pasta that we need it to be fast." Yet this reliance on technology does not replace his skill or passion. Gallegosí craftsmanship makes the complicated seem effortless. He handles the stream of thin dough with ease and grace, finding a delicate balance between smoothing and pulling. After the dough is run through the machine, a continuous band of pasta spans the length of his four-foot metal table. Within minutes Gallegos produces a dozen perfectly trimmed raviolis.
The dishes at Three Ten Main have a heavy European influence, with an emphasis on the fresh stuffed pastas of Northern Italy and the classic traditional cooking techniques of the French countryside. "Iím mostly influenced by Northern Italian cuisine. Itís more about butter and cheese. French country cooking involves lots of roasted meats and vegetables that are not overly done but instead let the flavors speak for themselves. It is uncomplicated. Just using the best ingredients possible and then manipulating them very lightly."
Gallegosí penchant for these traditional European cuisines is a surprise to some. He is the son of James Armijo Gallegos, former owner and founder of the famous, but now sadly defunct, Mama Inez restaurant. At its high point ,there were six Mama Inez restaurants in Idaho. As a teen living in Pocatello, Gallegos spent untold hours in his fatherís kitchen making tortillas and chile verde. However, a college apprenticeship at a French bistro in Salt Lake City exposed him to cuisines beyond his familyís culinary roots. "It fascinated me, and I found myself wanting to cook all the time, so I quit college."
The move opened Gallegos to an endless stream of creativity, far more so than the Southwest-style cooking of Mama Inez. "I love the food of southwest New Mexico, but you can only go so far with it. That is what attracted me to the French and Italian cuisines. There are just so many veggies and meats and cheeses to work with."
Gallegosí Three Ten Main speaks to what he really enjoys about dining out. "I love when you go into a restaurant and you feel like youíre entering a little sanctuary. You can tell just by looking at the plate that someone really cared about the food, even before you take a bite."
Sweet pea & ricotta raviolis
Put 8 ounces all purpose flour in large bowl and make a well in center. Pour 3 eggs and 2 egg yolks into the well and mix into flour. Put flour and egg mixture on clean counter and knead vigorously for five minutes. Keep hands and countertop free of dry bits of dough. Dough should be supple and springy after kneading. Let rest for 30 minutes in fridge.
Ingredients: 1 lb. fresh or frozen shell peas, 1 lb. whole milk ricotta (well drained in fridge overnight), 1 egg yolk, 1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg, fresh-ground black pepper to taste and 3 oz. (by weight), freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
Directions: Bring a gallon of water and 2 tbsp. kosher salt to boil. Add peas and bring back to boil. Strain peas and put into ice water. When cold, put peas through food mill to remove skins. Add pea pulp to remaining filling ingredients. If filling is too watery, add 1 or 2 tbsps. of fresh toasted breadcrumbs. Roll out pasta dough to #6 on the pasta machine and place 1 tbsp. of filling 1 1/2 inches apart on the lower edge of the sheet of pasta. Lightly moisten pasta and fold the top half onto the lower half. Gently press down around filling. Use pasta cutter to cut between raviolis. Prepare vinaigrette (see below). Bring a gallon of water to boil with 1 tbsp. salt and add 6 raviolis at a time. Cook about 2 minutes, until they float to top. Remove with slotted spoon. Put on plate and spoon vinaigrette over top. Garnish with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
Warm brown butter vinaigrette
Ingredients: 2 oz. unsalted butter, 1 tbsp. extra
virgin olive oil, 1/2 cup stock (chicken or vegetable), 1 tbsp. lemon
juice, 1 tsp. Spanish sherry vinegar, 5 oz. pancetta and fresh Italian