Sunday, December 28, 2008

Dark Days week #6 - Pasta! No really, I made the pasta.

Spaghetti with simple sage butter (earth balance) sauce. Earth Balance vegan butter appears to be made in NJ. For today's purpose, that's local enough. At least I'm paying attention to where my food comes from. Honestly, I would normally use the fancy Italian olive oil. Sometimes you gotta support the global economy, too. The flours are from King Arthur, and the dried sage was fresh when I got it at the last farmer's market.

Anyway, making your own pasta really isn't nearly as complicated as Barilla wants you to think. In fact, with the assistance of my bread machine and the pasta maker, it barely took more hands on prep time than opening a box of dried pasta. And playing with dough is always kinda fun.

Basic pasta dough:
1 cup semolina flour
1 cup unbleached white flour
1/2 cup water (+ about 2 TBS if needed)
1/2 tsp salt

Put ingredients in bread machine on dough cycle and make sure all the flour absorbs into the ball of dough, and add more water if needed.

I removed it once mixed and put it in the fridge for about a 1/2 hour (some recipes say an hour, but, I was hungry.) I pulled out the pasta maker from the depths of the cabinet and dusted it off. Next, I put on a pot of water to boil. Now for the fun part. I rolled out a piece of dough - 1/4 of the dough for one serving. Rolled as a flat sheet, then ran through the spaghetti rollers and voila, pasta.
If you're making an entire batch, you can put the noodles on a broomstick to dry. I didn't because I don't have a good place to balance the broomstick and I get upset when inevitably I drop some precious noodles on the floor. So since I'm cooking them immediately, I just dust them with some flour, pulled apart any guys that were sticking together and laid them on the dough mat until the water was boiling.
Fresh thin noodles cook in roughly 1 minute, so as soon as I dropped in the noodles, I made the sauce. Melted 1 TBS vegan butter, 1 garlic clove, 1 tsp dried sage (from farmer's market) and a little seasoned salt. When pasta is al dente, drain and give a brief saute in the butter sage sauce. Take quick photo, ignore bad lighting and photography skills, then eat.
Aren't you glad it wasn't another pesto or squash recipe?


Joanna said...

good job!! making pasta really is a lot of fun. i had to do it in foods class and it felt so good not to open a package of noodles.

i am obsessed with earth balance. i just tried it a few days ago when i had to make my yule log. i will never be a part from it again. it tastes so much better than real butter. it's rather sweet.

Anonymous said...

Woo-hoo! That's a great Dark Days entry, especially with the quickness factor. I've made a kind of Indian "pasta" with pretty much the same process except that the dough has all kinds of spices in it (cumin, turmeric, paprika, salt) and I roll it by hand with a rolling pin since I don't have a pasta machine before slicing it into squares or strips. It then gets cooked in the water with dahl mixed in (so basically somewhat diluted dahl) until the dahl cooks down and becomes the sauce.

Wanted to ask about the cook time though - we cook ours for maybe 15 minutes so I've wondered about how regular fresh pasta is after 1-2 minutes - does the dough really cook through fully?

Hey, I bet this same recipe you posted could be used to make ravioli (cutting into squares, put filling on one square, top with another square, pinch/crimp edges, cook).... and since you mentioned squash, winter squash filling?

River said...

You have your own pasta maker! How very hard core!! Hey, I love the new blog layout!

Jenn said...

Ha! I actually thought of making ravioli with squash flling! The spaghetti was just faster (and easier.) Don't be too surprised if you see that next week.

I cut the noodles into angel hair thinness, so it really was done in about 1 minute and I sauteed it in the butter sauce about 30 seconds. Any more cooking and it would have started turnng to mush.

I've had the pasta maker for ages. It really is easy. I don't know why I don't make fresh pasta more often.

Gina said...

I've made my own pasta before, and its kind of fun...and satisfying. I think I need to do it again now, haha. I had no idea EB was so local....well, as I am in NY its kind of local, right?

jessy said...

isn't homemade pasta the best!?! your looks PERFECT! and nice job on keeping it local! yay!

Tami (Vegan Appetite) said...

Awesome pasta! That puts my floury, messy, way-to-thick pasta to shame.

Sal said...

That looks awesome. I bought semolina flour ages ago to make my own pasta and still haven't got around to it yet!! I don't have a machine though so it wouldn't be as pretty as yours anyway!