Monday, January 14, 2013

gettin' fresh in the kitchen

Made with Shapely

As in "making fresh pasta".  Get your mind out of the butter gutter.  In addition to the big ass cutting board I got for Christmas, I also got a couple new cookbooks, one being Cook's Illustrated - it's been pretty amazing so far.  I'm always looking for new recipes, and this one has 2,000 in it.  All worth repeating.  We Feldmeyers like to reward ourselves with food, much like you would a dog.  We eat pretty healthy and exercise regularly during the week and always like to have an indulgent meal to look forward to at the start of the weekend.  Last Friday, we went to hot yoga and while I was sweating my brains out (if you've done Bikram, you know it's possible to sweat your brains out) I was thinking about the pasta we were going to make that night.  And I could tell Ehren was, too.  Thinking about fresh pasta was what got me through that torture chamber inferno class.  Anyway, like I've mentioned before, we love stay-at-home dates.  You get to wear sweats, pick your own music, and bring your dog.

When we do our date night meals, I'm okay with spending a little more time preparing them.  When I was perusing my new cookbook, I found a section dedicated to fresh pasta and stuffed pasta, like ravioli and tortellini.  I remember making pasta growing up.  We would make fettucini and instead of using a fancy drying rack like the one pictured below, we would lay out brooms and mops and let the pasta dry that way.  Sanitary?  Probably not.  Successful?  Definitely.


We have a KitchenAid stand-mixer but no attachments.  I would love to have all the pasta making attachments like the picture above, but when your mom has attachments and offers to drop them off on your doorstep, why spend the money right now?  Thanks, Mom!  As for the filling, we decided on a proscuitto, squash, parmesan, sage mix.  The recipe had me at proscuitto.

There really isn't much to pasta - flour and eggs.  As easy as cooking can get if you ask me.  Mix it up in a food processor until it combines, knead, shape into a ball, and let it rest.

Chop up some proscuitto and sage.

Add roasted butternut squash, parmesan, nutmeg, eggs and mix.

Roll out the pasta until you can see your hand through it (I went until setting 4).

Why, yes, my skin is whiter than pasta.  Thanks for asking.

Lay it out on damp dish cloths and cover so it doesn't dry out.

Form the mix into little balls and place 1 1/4" inches apart then fold the pasta over.

Form the pasta around the filling so there are no air bubbles then cut the pasta.  We don't have a pastry roller so we just used the pizza cutter and it worked fine.

Lay out on floured cookie sheets and cover with damp dish cloth.  Then place in boiling water for a few minutes until done.  It obviously doesn't take as long as dried pasta so keep an eye on it.

Since the filling is so complex and flavorful, the sauce didn't need to be.  I made a pine nut, butter, and parsley sauce.  Simple and delicious.

Mix it all together in a serving dish and enjoy!

Let me tell you, this was amazing.  The proscuitto gave it a salty bite while the sweet butternut squash balanced it out.  Ehren loves to order pasta when we go out to dinner but is always disappointed on the small portions - he was not disappointed this night.  We can't wait to make this again but maybe try different fillings and sauces.

Making your own pasta sounds scary and like it's a lot of work, but it really isn't anymore work than making something like enchiladas.  Anything worth eating takes a little time and the longer it takes, the more wine you can drink in the process.  And when you have that hot yoga high, Pandora going, dim lighting, and good company, who cares if you don't eat until 9:00?

Well, Cozy cares, here he is begging asking, "Mom, can you make some ravioli stuffed with peanut butter and dog treats?"

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