Tag Archives: pasta

Eat Your Greens Pasta

7 Aug

Here’s something about me you might not guess from all the baked goods I make: I like to eat healthy.  I exercise a ton, take omega-3 supplements, am always trying to eat enough greens (thus my daily kale smoothies); you get the picture.  I also like things to taste GOOD. I mean it – I LOVE food. I love eating.  I also love eating out, which often presents a decision crisis for me: do I eat healthy or delicious or sacrifice a bit of both.  There are the occasional restaurants where this conundrum doesn’t present itself, but the easiest place to eat is my own kitchen.

Greens

This homemade pasta fits the bill – it’s packed with greens (basically as much as I could fit in without the pasta falling apart) and tastes amazing.  Like homemade pasta should.

HangingPasta

I cooked it up with more veggies (surprise!) and made an awesome pasta primavera.  Just some green onions and an assortment of yummy veggies sauteed together, topped off with white wine, lemon zest, parmesan, and a little pasta water (not to mention the ubiquitous S&P). Oh yum.

Veggies2

You will need a stand mixer for this and either a pasta attachment or a hand-crank pasta maker. Alternatively, you can do this without a mixer, but I read somewhere that you have to knead so hard/long that your butt will sweat.  I recently experienced this making a batch of bagels without a mixer and it wasn’t pretty.  My arms were sore for days (we won’t even discuss the state of my clothing).

Above

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Rochester-Style Greens and Beans

4 Dec

This dish is amazing.  I made it the other night and it was so good I decided to take a break from my Thanksgiving recipes to share it. My good friend N’s mom, Susan, gave me this wonderful recipe – it is their family twist on the Italian classic.  If you are looking for a good way to add greens to your meal, while still enjoying something hearty and delicious, this recipe is for you.

Ingredients:

2 lbs. escarole, washed well and coarsely chopped – I substituted kale because the store didn’t have escarole – it was amazing!
1 1/2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/3  to 1 cup low sodium vegetable broth – I use Better Than Bouillon – No Chicken Base. It is the best, but I use far less than they suggest and do it to taste (the amount of broth you use depends on how soupy you prefer it)
1 can (15 oz.) cannellini beans or white kidney beans, undrained
scant 3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. ground pepper
crushed red pepper (to taste – I like a lot)
1/2 box linguine, cooked all dente – or you can try out some homemade pasta – I did and it was superb!
grated pecorino romano

Directions:

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, add escarole (or kale) and blanch 1 minute. Drain and gently squeeze out excess liquid.

In large skillet over medium heat, sauté olive oil and garlic for 1 minute. Add escarole (or kale) and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes.

Serve over hot cooked linguine with grated pecorino romano.

So delicious!

A note on using kale:

BEST VEGGIE EVER

Kale is a wonderful, vitamin-packed green.  I eat it whenever I can.  To use, remove the stems, and then chop roughly.

The stems are very bitter - remove quickly with a knife, and enjoy!

A trick for cleaning up your mess while cooking:

If you compost, or even if you don’t, you can put a plastic grocery bag in a large bowl to collect all of your vegetable waste as you cook.  It helps keep a cleaner counter and it just cool.  I learned this trick from my sister in law, Gabby, who, I think, learned it from Rachel Ray.

Fresh Pasta

30 Nov

Homemade pasta may be the best tasting food ever; the flavor and texture barely have any relation to its boxed, dried cousin. Don’t get me wrong – I love all forms of pasta – but if you have the time to make it from scratch, you should.

In order to make pasta you will need some sort of pasta maker.  I used a hand crank version for years, but when I got my Kitchenaid mixer, I knew I had to have the pasta attachment.  Or both of them.

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The Kitchenaid also helps with the kneading part as well, but you can do this by hand. It just takes a little extra arm work.

This is the basic recipe I use.  You can use this recipe with the hand crank machine or the Kitchenaid. It makes a little more than 1 lb of pasta. You can also see directions for using the pasta press (where you can make cute tube pastas – macaroni, rigatoni, bucotini)!  Delizioso!

Ingredients:

3 1/2 cups sifted flour (I used Duram semolina flour this time, but usually use all purpose)

1 tsp salt

4 eggs (7/8 cup – use extra water to reach this amount)

1 Tbsp water

Directions:

Crack eggs into liquid measuring cup, making sure they reach the 7/8 mark, adding water if it doesn’t.  Add the tablespoon of water.

Sift flour into measuring cup, leveling off.  Measure 3 1/2 cups into large bowl or bowl of mixer.

Add salt and stir.

If using a mixer, use the paddle attachment to mix in eggs for 30 seconds.  Then switch to dough hook and knead for 2 minutes. Once the dough begins to form a ball, knead it by hand until it forms a smooth dough – 2 to 3 minutes.

If mixing by hand, use a wooden spoon to add in egg and mix until it the dough begins to come together.  Turn out on a floured surface and begin to knead.  I once read somewhere that you have to knead until your butt sweats – no joke, it is that hard.  You want your dough to become smooth and elastic.

For flat noodles:

Let dough rest for 20 minutes in a clean dish towel. Split dough into four even pieces.

Using either the machine or the hand crank, set the flat rollers at 1.  Roll the piece of dough through several times, folding in half each time, until the dough forms a smooth, flat sheet.

Run through, changing the setting to 2.  The dough will become thinner and longer.  Repeat, continuing to change the setting, until the dough reaches the desired thickness.  Repeat with each pasta sheet, cutting each one in half and dusting HEAVILY with flour to prevent sticking.

Change to the pasta cutter roller.  Run each sheet through the cutters.  Twist into small nests and refrigerate or freeze within the hour.  You can keep it in the fridge for 5 days or in the freezer for 1 months.

For tube shaped noodles:

Break dough into small, walnut size pieces.

Feed the pieces through the pasta press, one at a time.  As the pasta extrudes, use the slicer to cut even pieces of noodles.

Spread the noodles out in an even layer on a flour dusted cookie sheet.  Dust all of them lightly with flour. Let dry for 1 hour and then store in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze for 1 month.

Fresh pasta will cook much faster than dried.  Watch it and test for the perfect al dente texture!

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