Monday, September 7, 2009

Fresh From Italy...Via Wisconsin

The first morning I was back home in Wisconsin I woke up, after 26 hours of long travel from Italy, and I had an urge to make fresh pasta. What was it that prompted me to do this? Was I just nostalgic about not being in Italy anymore? Did I want to impress my parents with my new found skills? Was I simply craving the beautiful cuisine of Italia? Whatever it was I was on a mission. My mouth watered for some delicious fare on my first morning back in the cool and misty air of my native state.

I slowly moved around the kitchen, still lagging a bit from the travel the day before. My dad has a beautiful garden out back and I picked some fresh tomatoes, sage, basil and rosemary. I diced the tomatoes and made the herbs into a refreshing sauce using some home-squeezed olive oil my friend gave me from her farm in Sicily. Within thirty minutes we were sitting in delight at our morning meal.Pasta can be a difficult little bugger to master. I haven't mastered my recipe yet and have worked to improve it. If you have any tips or recipes you've used that 'really' work please let me know!!! Thanks

13 comments:

Michaela Hogue said...

Did you start by putting eggs in the middle of the flour? My great-grandmother used to butter up her hands before touching sticky dough...I'm sure there is a healthier option to that. Also I use less yolks than white of eggs, but not that much less (like if you need three eggs try using 2 yolks and three whites). Let me know if that works! And always have a bowl aside of extra flour! You may not use it all but it sure comes in handy when your hands are covered in dough.

Michaela Hogue said...

also...don't roll it through too many times. You don't want it to be too thin or too thick. If it feels like a heavy phyllo...its too thin. If it feels like Manischewitz egg noodles...its too thick. Good Luck!

J said...

Yum...what other spices do you add to give the pasta kick? PS, your face is priceless ...like a kid who just had a ice cream cone!

Culinary & Sports said...

aside from perfecting the regular pasta i would play with its flavors! like maybe adding dry thyme and some lemon zest to the dry ingredients! i would eat that with some seafood like shrimp and a white wine sauce maybe or a buerre blanc sauce. as for perhaps a regular pasta recipe i would try some milk instead of water... i don't know what you used exactly but yeah, along with the eggs.

MMRTY said...

http://www.tastespotting.com/
This is an awesome website! They will post your pictures so others can see but it has to have the right lighting, angle, etc. But I actually find this inspiring and it make you hungry! :-D Enjoy!

Mona said...

very cool, garrett! i'm thinking of throwing in the towel and pursuing cooking school myself so this is definitely making me want to get after it tomorrow!

Garrett said...

Hmm I will definitely have to try using less yolks and more whites. I wonder how this affects things?

I'm not adding any spices or flavors to the pasta dough now. I need to perfect the basic recipe of the dough first.

I'm not using water in my recipe...oil.

Start cooking more...you'll feel better:)

Michaela Hogue said...

The whites make it easier to deal with and boil better so you have a good texture to it...in the end the texture and flavour are important. The first time I made pasta I put too many spices in the flour and my family...no joke...twitched every time they took a bite. I felt so bad. I sure you know more about spices...I didn't.

J said...

Yeah,....your right ...got to work with the basics first and them move onto sauces...PS, make some for your grandmother...my grandmothers got the biggest kic the time my sister and I cooked for both them (one and only time)! Maybe you'll inspire some of us non-cooking peeps into the kitchen one of these days!

Allen said...

While people may have different views still good things should always be appreciated. Yours is a nice blog. Liked it!!!

connie said...

I do the opposite - I use 3 whole eggs and 5-8 yolks per pound of flour. It's terribly unhealthy, but delicious.

Though making a well in the mound of flour on the counter for the eggs is impressive, I always managed to break the wall and wound up with egg all over the place. So now I just mound the flour in a big mixing bowl and make the well in there, then turn it out onto the counter to knead once everything is incorporated.

With fresh egg pasta, I like to keep the sauces very simple. Browned butter and sage; tomato, basil, parsley, olive oil and garlic; pesto. Homemade egg pasta is good enough that it's still a treat with just decent olive oil, butter, garlic and cheese.

And with any pasta dish, I always cook the pasta al dente, then finish cooking it in the pan that's heating/cooking the sauce, and add a little pasta water. And a generous sprinkling of parmagiano reggiano never hurts.

Oh, and if you have a Kitchen Aid stand mixer, they make a pasta roller attachment - makes like much easier! And having a marble countertop or board is great for kneading.

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BMcCurdy said...

I like to think about pasta and dough as more of a concept rather then a reciepe.

I use 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour and either 3 or 4 eggs depending on size of the eggs. I like to add the eggs one at a time that way you can adjust as you go. some times i need all four and sometimes three is enough and i need to add a little flour. i add a pinch of salt and 2 tbs of olive oil, let it hang out for 30 minutes and there you go. but then again you can make 15 perfect batches and then you can screw one up royaly.

Lately i have been making a batch everyday for my cafe/meals to go restaurant, for Spinach mannicotti. its been pretty popular this month


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