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Half-dried Pasta in Cream and Truffle Sauce, with Sweetbreads, Cockscombs and Cock's Kidneys Recipe
Half-dried Pasta in Cream and Truffle Sauce, with Sweetbreads, Cockscombs and Cock's Kidneys
Alain Ducasse - Plaza Athénée, Paris
Alain Ducasse - Plaza Athénée, Paris
Flavors of Paris and the Ile-de-France
Total time: more than 2 hours

Prep. time: 45 minutes
Pasta drying time: 2 hours, though it can be made up to 72 hours in advance
Cooking time: A little over three hours

Difficulty: Requires a certain dexterity
For 4 servings

- 600 g (1 lb. 5 oz.) durum semolina
- 285 g (10 oz.) whole eggs

The ragoût of cockscombs, kidneys and sweetbreads
- 5 cock's combs
- 3 cock's Rognons
- 200 g (7 oz.) Sweetbreads
- 2 slices of truffle500 ml (2 cups) white chicken stock
- 50 g (2 oz.) brunoise (carrot, celery and shallot in tiny dice)
- 1 clove of garlic
- 250 ml (1 cup) calf's foot jelly
- 1 bouquet garni
- 100 g (6 tbsp.) cold butter
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 20 g (4 tsp.) truffle juice

Cream sauce
- 150 g (1/2 cup) béchamel
- 500 ml (2 cups) cream
- 50 g (2 oz.) mascarpone
- 50 ml (3 tbsp.) truffle juice
- Truffle oil

- 1 Brittany Lobster
- 50 g (3 tbsp.) shellfish butter
- Fennel seed and black pepper

Preparing the half-dried pasta

  1. Place the durum semolina on a marble work surface and make a well in the centre;
  2. add the eggs one at a time;
  3. mix together until smooth;
  4. let rest in a cool place for at least 2 hours;
  5. roll the dough out thinly;
  6. with a cutter, cut out circles 95 mm in diameter;
  7. cut one edge off the circles, roll them around a wooden stick (I use a boxwood twig) and lay the pasta on a rack intended for this purpose;
  8. let dry (the drying time will depend on the air movement in the room);
  9. keep in a tightly-closed container for up to 72 hours;
  10. cook in white chicken stock for 7 minutes, then toss with the cream sauce.

Making the cream sauce

  1. Bring the light cream to a boil;
  2. combine with the béchamel so that it does not reduce too much;
  3. flavour it with the truffle juice and olive oil;
  4. whisk in a little mascarpone;
  5. strain through a fine sieve and correct the seasoning.

Making the ragoût of cockscombs, kidneys and sweetbreads

  1. Place the cockscombs in cold water and bring to a boil to blanch them; chill them in ice water;
  2. blanch the cock's kidneys in the same way;
  3. trim the ends of the combs, remove the cartilage and cut in half crosswise;
  4. cook the cockscombs at a bare simmer for about two hours in a mixture of half white chicken stock and half calves' foot jelly;
  5. at the end of the cooking time, the combs should be extremely tender; the cooking liquid should be syrupy and gelatinous;
  6. trim the kidneys and poach in a mixture of half white chicken stock and half calves' foot jelly;
  7. be sure to reduce the poaching liquid by half before beginning the cooking of the kidneys, which will not take more than 30 minutes;
  8. at the end of the cooking time the kidneys should be extremely tender and the cooking liquid syrupy and gelatinous;
  9. peel the sweetbreads, cook them in foaming butter until they firm up, but do not let them colour; sweat them in the butter, add an unpeeled clove of garlic and a bouquet garni containing only a sprig of fresh thyme and a parsley stem; add chicken broth just to the level of the sweetbreads, and braise in the oven for about 25 minutes. At the end of the cooking time, the sweetbreads should be tender but still have a nice texture;
  10. to finish the ragoût, prepare a base composed of equal parts of the cooking liquids from the cockscombs, the kidneys and the sweetbreads and of calves' foot jelly, reduce it and whisk in some fresh butter.
  11. At the last moment, place in a sauté pan, for each person: 2 kidneys, 4 cockscombs, 3 sweetbreads, 2 slices of black truffle, a small ladleful of the base and a little truffle juice.
  12. Simmer for a few minutes; the jus should coat the garnish.
  13. Check the seasoning and acidify with a little lemon juice.

Preparing the lobster

  1. Choose a Breton lobster, cook in a court-bouillon flavoured with black pepper and fennel seed for six minutes;
  2. Remove the flesh from the shell; slice it thinly lengthwise and dip into the shellfish butter. Season with pepper.


  1. Arrange on the bottom of a large round plate 4 pieces of the pasta with another resting at an angle across the others. Nap with the cream sauce.
  2. Attractively arrange the ragoût over the pasta. Spoon the jus from the ragoût over top.
  3. Sprinkle with chopped black truffles.
  4. Lay the strips of lobster on top.
  5. Drizzle some veal jus around the perimeter.
  6. Finish with a grinding of fresh pepper.
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