Monday, March 1, 2010

Pasta: A First Attempt

This past week has been a bit crazy. My folks are in town, their RV is in fact hooked up to my house and parked right outside my window as we speak. Needless to say, my normal routines have been a bit off and it feels a little too much like vacation around here.

That being said, having guests may not be conducive to writing down good and specific recipes, but it is good for trying new foods and experimenting on large numbers of people (mwa ha ha ha).

Last night I made some scrumptious fish tacos with tilapia (seasoned with lime, cumin and cardamom and baked at 350 for about 15 minutes, or until sizzly and cooked through), store bought tortillas (we got home after a long day at the fair and it was past dinner time - not a good day to try making corn tortillas from scratch for the first time) and tasty coleslaw. This time 'round my coleslaw consisted of:
  • 1 head regular green cabbage, cut finely
  • 1 whole granny smith, shredded
  • 1/2 sweet onion, cut into fine strips
  • several good  pinches lemon basil (dried this time'round)
  • 2 spoonfuls mayo
  • drizzle vinaigrette - mostly vinegar
  • drizzle lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
It was a nice, green refreshing thing to eat after a day slogging through dust.

But enough about yesterday, today is a day of butter making, garden tending - time to prep the beds for corn seed!, sun basking, and later on: pasta making.

Today's pasta method:
     4 eggs
     2 cups flour (unbleached white whole wheat)
Mix into a stiff dough with a sprinkle of salt. Roll out as thin as you can stand it, lay out on a cloth for one hour. Wish i had a better surface to roll things out on, as i hate how things like to stick to my counter. 

Spoon about a teaspoon of filling onto the pasta, cut into 3" squares. Roll the pasta over and press on both sides with a fork to seal the edges. Made about 30 raviolis plus some extra noodle.
  • Bunch spinach, sliced and microwaved briefly
  • 5 ice cubes pesto, thawed
  • Generous pinches shredded mozz, parm, and garlic/herb cheese 

Let the raviolis sit on a floured board for another hour or so and drop into rapidly boiling, salted water for about 20 minutes - while heating up some tomato sauce. I wanted the raviolis to be the stars tonight, so i used a can of Hunt's Diced garlic and herb tomatoes (which are really quite good!) and a splash of red wine, plus an ice cube of pesto.

Cooking the raviolis proved to be a battle of the boil - they wanted to leap out of the pot! But after about 15 or so minutes, and occasionally flipping and shoving down into the water, they were cooked to perfection. Served with the sauce, the homemade ravioli was a meal fit for any queen: guest or otherwise. Filling, protein packed, cheesy/pestoy delicious: these will make their way onto our menu often. I look forward to playing around with whatever i have in the garden, and making the noodles with some veg in them also.

Obviously, we were all too stoked about the eating of the pasta, 
the photographing of the pasta before it was eaten didn't happen. 
You'll just have to trust me that it was beautiful and delicious.

Pretty easy to do: the rolling out thinly was the hardest part. Making homemade pasta takes quite a bit of inactive time, but if you're around the house, you might as well be making pasta!
Stay tuned for a future review of a brand new pasta maker that may be coming my way!

Do you make your own pasta? What is your favorite ingredient to include?

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Thank you so much for your feedback, especially if you've cooked one of my recipes or tried one of my tips: let me know how it turned out!