Category: pasta

Homemade pasta dough

By , October 15, 2012 22:11

Who doesn’t love homemade pasta?! It’s yummy and cooks up much nicer than that store bought dried stuff. If you have the time and energy to completely trash your kitchen, I would definitely recommend making this. This is actually a larger batch than the original recipe, but hey-why make a little bit? You’re going to love it. I usually will make a large batch, roll it out, and cut a lot of ravioli rounds with a cookie cutter (I don’t dig the pre-cutting ravioli attachment and besides, I can make dinosaur ravioli if I damn well please!!) and freeze them for later use. It’s much easier that way, as I have learned. I’m still new to the art of pasta rolling, but I have found that it is quite therapeutic and rewarding when you make your own. There are two methods to making this. The Mound method, which is more traditional, and the mixer method, for us lazy girls ;). Here’s what you need:

  • 4 1/2 cups AP flour (I’ve also used this same recipe with wheat and it works out just as well) plus extra for dusting and rolling
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt (I’ve used sea and kosher. Both worked fine)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup water

Traditional mound method:

  1. Make a mound of flour on wax paper. Make a well inside of the mound, just like you did when you were little and wanted your mashed potatoes to be a dam so your gravy didn’t spill out 😉
  2. Add the eggs, olive oil, salt, and water to the well and beat gently.
  3. Slowly incorporate the flour from the sides until you have a firm, but not sticky, dough. If its sticky, add a little flour at a time until it loses the tack.
  4. Let the dough rest for 30 mins before rolling.

Lazy girl mixer method:

  1. On low speed, beat eggs, water, oil, and salt
  2. Slowly add flour, a cup at a time until dough loses tack and is smooth. Let rest 30 mins before rolling

 

I have a pasta roller, but you can also hand roll this dough as well. You can go all out traditional style and do it like a real Italian housewife from Italy by using the mound method and hand rolling, but I need quickness in my life. I’m always thinking about the next thing while I’m on the first thing, so the mixer and roller work for me. Just make sure that if you’re making ravioli via the traditional rolling method, that the dough is very thin (about the thickness of a credit card) so that it cooks properly. Here are some of the fillings I have tried already, but get creative and try some seasonal veggies or different meats in them!!

 

Pumpkin Ravioli filling (I made these with the wheat pasta dough and used a ghee sauce and they were OUTSTANDING!!):

  • 2 cups roasted fresh, or canned pumpkin (if roasted fresh, try to use a sugar pumpkin.)
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta
  • 1 teaspoon Nutmeg

Grilled chicken and mozzarella:

  • 2 grilled chicken breasts, chopped finely, or pulsed in the food processor
  • 4 cups shredded whole milk mozzarella

Lobstah ravioli (I made an Old Bay Alfredo sauce with these…yummm)

  • 1 lb lobster meat (claws and tail) pulsed in the food processor
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon peel (dash if freshly grated)

Penne al Fresco

By , September 24, 2012 00:13

Farmer’s markets. I’m currently in rehab for them. When I hear that there is a farmer’s market going on, I get all cracked out on the idea of fresh vegetables in my food. It all started with the dreaded low iodine diet I had to endure as a thyroid cancer survivor. You basically cannot eat anything that has been manufactured or processed since most manufacturers use salt or seaweed byproducts for preservation. Everything has to be fresh. I learned how to get creative with the small list of things that I was allowed to eat. The farmer’s market was one of my only saviors while on that diet. Here’s one of my favorite recipes that is quick, easy, and a fairly healthy option for a pasta dish.

  • 1lb Penne
  • 4 large tomatoes, diced (I had purchased beefsteak at the market, but 6 Romas will do)
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced (I leave the skins on for this one to add color)
  • 1 medium summer squash diced
  • 1/2 large eggplant diced
  • 1/2 large eggplant sliced
  • 2C whole milk mozzarella
  • 4T olive oil
  • 1 1/2T Italian seasoning
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

In a large stockpot, bring about 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add penne and cook about 11 mins to al dente.

While pasta is cooking, in a large bowl, combine all diced veggies. Toss with olive oil. Sprinkle seasonings over and toss again to evenly coat veggies.

Take the sliced eggplant and cover with mozzarella. Place under the broiler for about 5-7 mins, or until slightly brown and bubbly on top.

Heat a wok or large skillet over medium high heat. Add veggies. When the eggplant is tender(about 5-7mins), add garlic and cook for about 2 mins more. Then take off the heat.

At this time, the pasta should be drained. DO NOT RINSE THE PASTA!!! This will remove any of the starchy goodness that helps hold onto the sauce!!! Add the pasta to the veggie mixture and toss to combine, or plate the pasta and serve with veggies over it. I usually serve this by roasting the rest of the fresh garlic and spreading it over some toasted Italian bread, but last time, I just went with the eggplant. You can also mix the pasta and veggies and put in a baking dish, cover with cheese and broil until bubbly brown. It’s all good!!

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