Chris' Recipes

Bon Appetite!

Homemade pasta! Sharing my kitchen!

Written By: Chris - May• 10•12

So I splurged and finally bought myself some toys that I’ve had my eye’s on for quite some time…  I did wait until Kohl’s had a sale and was able to use an additional 30% off coupon, but it was still tough to pull the trigger!  These accessories to the mixer cost more than the mixer when combined!  The joy of cooking investments total more than my first car!  But what a thrill when the UPS man dropped the box’s at my front step.  I still have wants… all in time, but we’ll have plenty to play with until then.

Our friends Heather and Dave came over for a Friday night social and dinner in.  Heather and I have shared kitchens before as she too likes to cook!  We’ll soon be sharing our kitchen in Napa on an upcoming vacation on our rental home, so I thought it would be a fun way to practice as we needed to plan menu’s for the trip anyways,  A good  excuse to get together.

We created a couple of kinds of pasta and then allowed everyone to choose their own toppings while tossing the pasta with the sauce!  It was fun (messy at times) and enjoyed by all.  Bill was particularly thrilled with this dish as he LOVES Pasta!  That’s what it’s all about anyways…

Pasta Ingredients:

4 Cups White Flour
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
5 Egg Beaters
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

We used my Kitchen Aid Mixer stirring all of the dry ingredients together using the hook tool, rather than the traditional way of creating pasta:

(by placing your flour out on a clean counter surface and then creating a hollow spot n the center, pouring in the olive oil.  Then break eggs into it one at a time, while mixing quickly with a fork until the dough is wet enough to come together. Knead on a lightly floured surface until the dough is stiff and elastic.) 

We went the easy route using the mixer and it worked just fine!  Slowly pour in olive oil into the flour mixture and add egg beaters 1/4th Cup at a time…  mixing on medium speed until dough is wet and has come together completely.   You may need to remove the dough from the bowl and make sure all ingredients have been incorporated.  Allow the hook to work the dough until stiff and elastic.  Cover it with plastic wrap and allow it to stand for 30 minutes.

You may choose to roll out your pasta and cut it,  but since we were working with the new toys (pasta tools) That is what we did.

We didn’t use the large silver pieces this time, rather had fun with the Pasta Extruder-Attachment and a few different shapes of noodles!

Make balls about the size of a golf ball.  (I confess, some of them were larger at times and it worked fine!)

Feed the pasta balls into the extruder and place the mixing speed according to the pasta type.  The instructions are in the manual.  We did find that by dunking the pasta into flour before dropping into the hopper was helpful.  Bill also suggested placing the opening of the hopper over the edge of the counter for longer noodles because we were squashing them at first trying to figure out how to get them to our desired length.

I chose to make Bucatini, which is a thick spaghetti shaped pasta that is hollow in the center, similar to a thin straw.  Dried noodles that you buy at the store may take up to 9 to 13 minutes.  Fresh pasta takes more like 4 minutes!  Don’t over cook it!   Also, by choosing egg beaters rather than real eggs – although it is good for your diet, it does change the texture somewhat.

Heather chose a curly type, but we didn’t think it curled much!

Allow to dry for at least 15 minutes before boiling. (Now I’ve got my eye on a pasta drying rack!)

Heather doctored up my go to can of prepared red pasta sauce, by adding some of the chopped peppers and onions, fresh basil, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt & pepper!  We also determined she was a much messier cook than I am!  She was tormenting me by splattering my stainless steel canisters with finger prints!  I cleaned up after her almost as quickly as she made the mess!  It really amused her… but it was all in good fun!  In the end, my kitchen was left sparkling as I wouldn’t have it any other way!

I enjoyed sharing my kitchen with her…

While the pasta is drying, we prepared our toppings:

I had some Pancetta on hand, which is an Italian bacon.  It is pork belly meat that has been salt cured.  I baked the thinly sliced bacon on an oven safe cooling rack at 350 until it was browned and crispy!  We then crumbled it to add a nice crunchy texture to the dish.

We cooked some cubed chicken tenderloin in oil with salt & Pepper as well as caramelized onions with red, orange and yellow peppers.  We also sauteed some fresh chopped zucchini with smashed garlic and had fresh spinach!  I also had some toasted pine nuts, and an array of cheeses including soft goat, Parmesan and Italian shredded varieties.

Boil a large pot of water that has been seasoned with kosher salt.  Cook the pasta for 2 to 4 minutes.  It will float when it is fully cooked.

We divided the pasta into eight servings as Michelle & Jacob decided to join us.  As we prepared each persons pasta, they were able to then choose which of the ingredients they preferred in their dish.  The majority of us wanted it ALL! 🙂  What a joy to share the joy of food and good wine!

We enjoyed this meal with a wonderful Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon!  A perfect preparation for the trip to Insignia day next weekend!

Enjoy!

Cheers!
~Chris

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