Pasta Dough From Scratch

Decided one weekend to try making pasta noodles from scratch.  Found a super easy recipe:

100g flour

1 egg

pinch of salt

water if needed

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Mix your egg and flour until you get a dough ball.  I used a mixer with the dough hook attachment.  Added some water just to get the ingredients to mix and it took no time at all.  You want a play dough like consistency.

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Once you have your dough mixed, wrap it in clear plastic and chill for about 30 minutes.

Once the dough is rested, it is time to roll the dough out.  If you have a pasta press, now is the time to start feeding in your dough.  I, on the other hand just used a regular rolling-pin.  I think I need to invest in a pasta press….

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The key is to roll it out super thin, paper like thinness.   My roll out was not paper-thin. IMG_0267_2

Using a sharp knife, I cut my dough into noodles and then boiled in salted boiling water for about 4 minutes.

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I made some pesto and added some cherry tomatoes and parmesan.  It was alright for a first try.

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So simple. =)

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Someone made it, I ate it

Yet another birthday treat meal. It’s lobster fest at Red Lobster. I know, not the most original of restaurants, but damn, I love their linguine Alfredo. I really LOVE it.

A drink to start…spiked pink lemonade.

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Caesar salad and stuffed mushrooms.

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Of course, the biscuits, of which I scored 18. I guess they were my birthday presents courtesy of Red Lobster and a really awesome server named Donovan – he rocks!

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And my favourite part of the meal – lobster and shrimp linguine Alfredo. I can never say no.

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=)

I can’t believe it’s cauliflower!

So recall my image from kitchen experiments?

Well, all those ingredients went into making cauliflower fettuccine. As in, I made pasta sauce out of cauliflower. Clearly cauliflower is still my vegetable du jour, so how excited was I to try my hand at using it to make a sauce. It’s better than a ton of cream and cheese.

So I began with my cauliflower, washed and cut up. Into a pot of boiling vegetable broth until soft. About 15 – 20 minutes.

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As this boiled, I sautéed some garlic in a little olive oil and set aside.

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By now the cauliflower is ready to be turned into sauce. All the cauliflower went into the blender along with about 3 cups of the broth. I also added the garlic, some black pepper, salt, olive oil and a pinch of pumpkin spice (yes pumpkin spice. I didn’t have nutmeg, this was the next best thing on hand). Did you know nutmeg goes well with cauliflower?

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Purée, purée, purée…

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The purée is then put back into a saucepan and a little bit of milk is added. You could use cream or even omit completely. As I found out, it just helps to thicken the sauce but really does nothing for flavour.

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The sauce sat warming and thickening as I cooked my noodles and contemplated cleaning up my kitchen. If there’s one thing about this recipe, it’s that you will be using quite a few pots and utensils to cook it up. Or maybe it’s just me, when I’m in the kitchen, it sometimes looks like a hurricane pulled through.

I always like to add a little something extra when I make pasta be it some meat like chicken or some sort of vegetable. I went with vegetable this time and one I have never cooked or eaten before – kale. Related to the cabbage family kale is very high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin, and rich in calcium. Kale, contains sulforaphane (particularly when chopped or minced), a chemical with potent anti-cancer properties. It is also a source of indole-3-carbinol, a chemical which boosts DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells. (Thanks Wikipedia lol). In any case, I thought I would try it out.

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I took off the stems and rolled up the leaves so I could cut them chiffonade (into ribbons).

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I quickly sautéed the kale with olive oil, garlic and a little bit of the remaining vegetable broth from earlier. Just until they reduce down a bit and are tender.

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Assembly time…

20121228-160035.jpg whole wheat fettuccine.

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I am in LOVE with this sauce. It was so creamy smooth and rich and savoury. I truly believe if someone gave me this and did not tell me it was cauliflower, I would never know the difference. It was creamy and rich. The kale added some great contrast in both colour, taste and texture. A little “crunchy” and a little bitter, it was perfect. But one could use any vegetable here, maybe mushrooms or broccoli instead. The possibilities are endless with this sauce. Definitely a “must make again” dish.

Now, I’m off to clean up =)