Monday, July 15, 2013

cooking blog time

Before CD and I married we both cooked. We both worked full time and, for fun, we'd shop and cook elaborate meals together. We experimented with Indian curries, Thai dishes, a great from scratch gumbo and other fun projects.  Since then life has given us two kids. I stay home now and CD works. And I make dinners. (He gets full credit for making great breakfasts.)  I've always had this idea that we'd take up fancy cooking projects again after the kids left. I pictured us replicating cooking shows together on weekends.

But now that our kitchen is more cooking friendly, (I think the last drawer is going in today, therefore making this place still unfinished but photo ready finally) it is more practical to cook together again. Yesterday CD suggested we make the homemade pasta recipe I'd been discussing. I jumped at the chance!

From the PBS show America's Test Kitchen comes Homemade Pasta with No Fuss (named by me).

Begin by separating five eggs, saving the yolks for the pasta and keeping the whites around because you can't think why you would throw out perfectly good egg whites. In a week you can toss them out with no guilt. Add to them two full eggs.

Spin 2 cups of all purpose flour in the food processor. Add 2 Tablespoons of olive oil.

Dump in the five yolks and two eggs and give it a whirl for 45 seconds.

Dump the dough out. It should feel soft but not sticky or crumbly. If it is, I can't help you. Go watch tv again. If it feels good, hand knead it a tiny bit to get it all in one lump.

Form it into a six inch log. Then walk away and let it rest for four hours. Feel free to nap.

Now, go upstairs to the last unpacked kitchen box and dig under the vases which used to be wrapped in bubble wrap but are no longer wrapped at all, and under the lunchboxes and in the same place as some utensils you might sell or give away. Yes, there! Get the rolling pin.

Cut the dough into six equalish pieces. Form the first one into a 3" square and dust it with flour. Dust the clean counter with flour and the rolling pin too. Toss some on the nice new hardwoods just cause you know it will be there soon anyway. The kids are now interested in the goings on and the cooking date with your husband has become a family affair. Roll with it.  (Ha!) Roll the 3" square into a 6" square. Pick it up and dust it with flour anytime you want to make sure it doesn't begin to stick to any surface.Remember that this used to be a tile countertop and nothing could be rolled on it. Smile!

Your goal is 6"x20". The kids each rolled one and they all ended up the same thickness but not the same length.

The pasta should be thin enough to see through slightly but not so thin it rips. This wasn't a problem for us at all. Lay them on a towel to dry for 15 minutes.

This should be plenty of time to start a simple sauce with olive oil, garlic, basil and cherry tomatoes. It should also be plenty of time for your kids to set the table and pour drinks. Maybe.

Fold the sheets of pasta into a 2" roll and slice to your desired width. We made a pretty standard looking fettuccine. Shake them out a bit so they don't stay stuck to themselves. At this step I think you could pause in your pasta making if you wanted to do this for guests.

The noodles boil for three minutes. After draining, we tossed them in the sauce.

The result was incredibly tender pasta. We tried to eat slowly to savor each bite, but it was really good!  We had this as our whole dinner and we had one serving leftover. I'd say that in general it makes six servings.

bon appetit!


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