Thursday, January 5, 2012

Pasta, Cheese, and more Pasta!

Ok, so we're on day 3 of my New Years Resolutions (I got started on them a couple days late...) and I apologize for not posting yesterday, but the good news is that I now have lots to post about today!

So, yesterday I made a dish called Pasta and Caramelized Onions. Guess what it was? Yea, the titles in this cookbook are VERY straightforward, which is a good thing, because then you can know what you're making just by looking at the title. Anyway, basically, it was carmelized onions with pasta, olive oil, and some parmesan cheese. It was delicious (though, admittedly, not as utterly amazing as the salad from the other day). I'll post all the recipes at the bottom of the page, in case you're interested.

Yesterday for dinner, Kristin and I decided to go out because we both received Christmas gifts for dinner and a movie - so we went to the Cheesecake factory and watched Sherlock Holmes. Side note here - I get that it was a Wednesday and that the movie had been out for several weeks, but there were only about 15 people in the theater. In Chicago. We were surprised, to say the least.

So the cooking began again today (because I have no classes and am bored) with some homemade pasta (amazing, right?). Actually, it was homemade HERB pasta (even snazzier). I will admit, it took much longer than originally planned due to the rolling (we don't own a pasta machine), but it made enough pasta for both lunch and dinner. And it has parsley in it, so I'm quite proud of it. I will say, though, that this is a much more drawn out process than the cheese, and may not be as worth it, time-wise.

So for lunch, I made some linguine-type pasta from our homemade pasta (recipe at the end of the post), sauteed some spinach and onions, added some peas and tomato sauce, and melted in some of the cheese I made two days ago. This recipe really wasn't a recipe, it was more of me looking in the fridge and thinking "hmm, what could I throw in here to make it yummy?". So I won't stick it at the end, largely because I think you all can figure it out.

And then tonight (I think, maybe tomorrow) is going to be ravioli, made again from the same pasta I made this morning/afternoon. I left two rectangular pieces large enough to make at least eight ravioli, probably more (we'll see), so that's going to be tonight. I was thinking of a spinach-cheese ravioli, using up what's left of the cheese from the other day (it only lasts a few days, so I need to use it up) and some of the spinach (which also seems to go bad rather quickly). We'll see how that goes, and I'll let you know!

Oh, and I also made MORE cheese today (because I had half an hour to kill while the pasta dough rested and wanted to show Kristin how to do it), but this time I added crushed red pepper, so it's almost a pepperjack sort of cheese! I tasted some before putting it in the fridge, and it is definitely on the spicy side, but very, very good!

So here are the recipes for the pasta and caramelized onions and the homemade pasta:

Pasta and Caramelized Onions

pasta (~ 1-1.5 handfuls per person)
about 1/3 of a sweet (yellow) onion
extra virgin olive oil
parmesan cheese

1. Slice onion into thin slices and put into a covered, medium skillet on medium-low heat. Stir every so often to make sure they don't stick to the pan.
2. Once the onions begin to turn brown, start the pasta boiling. Remove the cover on the onions and add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan, but not the onions, and stir the onions fairly continuously.
3. When the onions are uniformly brown (adding more olive oil if need be, but not overdoing it), drain and add the pasta. Add enough olive oil (if needed) to lightly coat the pasta, then add the garlic and parmesan.
4. Serve with some parmesan on the side, and enjoy!

Homemade Herb Pasta

2 cups flour (all-purpose or wheat)
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp parsley, basil, or other herb
3 eggs
*about 1/4 cup extra water

1. Put the flour, salt, and herbs in a pile on the table or counter (or use a cutting board or bowl, but the table is WAY more fun). Mix them thoroughly (Note: you are perfectly allowed to use a food processor, in which case put them in the thing and pulse it a few times).
2. Make a mound of the dry ingredients (away from the edges of the table, to avoid potential spills) and create an impression (like the crater of a volcano. That's right - make a pasta volcano). Crack the three eggs into the depression (Note: if using a food processor, simply add the eggs to it, rather than getting stuff all over the table).
3. Beat the eggs while slowly incorporating the flour until it forms a ball (preliminary use of a fork might be helpful, but really, this is a hands-on job). *Add water a little at a time if needed (I think that using a food processor avoids this issue, but the dough seemed very dry to me when I did it by hand - similar to my bread issue from yesterday) If using a processor, just beat the mixture together until it forms a firm ball of dough - you shouldn't need the extra water.
4. Knead the dough, then let it rest for about half an hour (now you know why I had half an hour to kill).
5. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface and continue rolling until it is roughly 1-2mm thick. Thinner is probably better, but I was having trouble getting it much thinner by hand alone. If you have a pasta roller, use that to get the desired thickness.
6. Cut the pasta to the desired shape (ravioli works for this, as does linguine. I'm sure others do as well, I just haven't tried them yet). You can let the pasta dry, use it immediately, or store it in the fridge for use in the next few days. I suppose you could also technically freeze it, though I've never felt like doing that.

No comments:

Post a Comment