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Making Pasta Attempt #2

April 14, 2011

The rain has finally departed, the sun is shining and the weather is great, for now. But for now, I will embrace it and walk the blossom covered sidewalks in a spring-time state of fugue.

Last night, Alden came over for dinner and girl time. And since she is my sister, and therefore will eat almost anything I put in front of her with graciousness, I decided to put another pasta recipe to the test. My pasta maker has yet to arrive, so I rolled and cut it by hand. I decided to make a sauce with the last Portobello from the farmers market and also try out the field cut spinach I bought. So I made a mushroom and spinach sauce, which was kind of more like a broth, but pretty tasty! I got the pasta recipe from a combination of recipes I found. I wanted to make whole-wheat pasta, but I decided that until I figure out pasta making, I should not go throwing it off with a bunch of whole-wheat flour. Still, I couldn’t resist adding some, so I used 1/3 whole-wheat to 2/3 AP. The recipe is easily doubled or tripled, but this serves 3-4 people.

Kind-of Whole Wheat Pasta:

½ cup whole-wheat flour

1 cup AP flour

2 eggs

¼ tsp salt

2-3 Tbsp water

Directions:

Mix flours and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Make a well and incorporate the eggs one at a time. Once the dough is mixed it should be a soft, pliable ball, if it is a little rough, add a few Tbsp of water one at a time. Knead for 5-10 minutes and then roll out on a floured surface. If you have a pasta maker, you can put it through that. If not, it might be easier to divide the dough in half and roll it out as flat as possible, I got about a 10×15” rectangle with each half. **If it starts to shrink and not hold the rolled out form, let it rest for a few minutes and then keep working it with the roller. When is is a little less than 1/8″ thick, cut into long strips, make sure they are well floured on both sides (I did this when the dough was rolled out in one piece) and then layer them on a cookie sheet with parchment paper. They can sit for a few hours (I covered them with another sheet of parchment) or you can cook them immediately.

To Cook:

Bring water and a few Tbsp olive oil to boil in a large pot. Make sure your water is a rolling boil before you add the noodles. Cook for 3-10 minutes. Depending on your thickness, and how many they have been drying on the cookie sheet, cooking time will vary. I just tested them every few minutes, but mine took around 10.

Spinach and Portobello Pasta Sauce:

1 Tbsp Olive oil

1 Tbsp Butter

3-5 cloves garlic, chopped

¼ of an onion, chopped

1 large Portobello cap (5-6”), chopped

6 cups spinach

1 Cup Chicken Broth

¼ cup mozzarella (optional)

2 Tbsp pesto

Pepper to taste

Directions:

Heat 1 Tbsp of oil in a pot over medium heat, chop the onion and garlic and throw them in. Once they are slightly browning, add the butter and stir until melted. Add the chopped Portobello and the spinach and cook until the mushrooms start releasing juices and the spinach is wilted. Add the broth, mozzarella, and pesto. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Yum. I think I will play with the pasta a bit more, but it was definitely a recipe I’d make again. So much better than my first attempt!! Plus, the sauce was tasty, I’m glad I decided to add a little bit of pesto, because I love the flavor it added. I am also pretty excited that I did not have to go to the grocery store for this dinner, it came entirely from things that I had and my farmers market run on Sunday. If anything, I’d add a little less broth next time: maybe only ½ a cup. Also, I will make garlic bread next time.

Enjoy!

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