Category Archives: Pasta

cross that one off the list

I have a ritual. Whenever I start to read one of my magazines, I pull out all the annoying flyers and thick advertisements and get one piece that is the perfect bookmark. Then I read it cover to cover, not skipping anything that I think I will enjoy later because I will inevitably forget about it. However, with Bon Appetit I make an exception. After pulling out all the stupid flyers, I immediately flip to Cooking Life, Molly Wizenberg’s monthly column. Now that our favorite Orangette is busy running Delancey with her husband Brandon I have to get Molly’s musings in any way that I can, preferably quickly. This past month’s article was especially intriguing because it was about how Molly learned to love kale. Continue reading

rolled thin part deux: one thousand layers

While I will admit that I did enjoy the ravioli in the brown butter sauce, the best part of the batch of homemade pasta dough came the next night  when I made the famous Thousand Layer Lasagna“.  One of my go to meals is to simply doctor-up a few jars of pasta sauce (preferably Newman’s Own since it the only reasonably priced brand without HFCS and other crap in the ingredient list) with some chopped onion and garlic and maybe a little italian sausage that has been sautéed in a little olive oil.  I make a big batch, let it simmer low for a couple of hours and freeze it into 2 person portions for an easy weeknight meal.  Since I made a batch of sauce while making this lasagna, all I had to do was roll out the pasta sheets as thin as possible, and layer it with the sauce and the leftover ravioli filling from the night before. Continue reading

rolled thin

Last week when I was having my “totally homemade meal” kick, I also knew that I wanted to make pasta dough and transform it into ravioli.  Homemade pasta is one of those things that is just so remarkably different from its dried counterpart that it should be in a category all on its own.  While I appreciate the ease and simplicity of tossing a bag of penne into a pot of boiling salted water and topping it with a little garlic and olive oil, I also really love the process of mixing some eggs into flour and after some time and some coaxing, eating a plate of homemade pasta. Continue reading

Chicago Summers

Even though the calendar claims that it is mid-August and some kids are already back to school, I feel like my summer is just beginning.  Chicago had a record breaking “cold” July so it never felt like hot summer (not that I would have known since I was inside studying all day) but my day yesterday made me feel that summer had finally arrived.

I woke up and took a leisurely trip to the market. Went for the first run in a while that unfortunately was a bit asthma plagued but it still felt great to have the 74 degree breeze on my face. I bought a new bike saddle at Kozy who pumped up my tires (which were apparently always flat-whoops) and now my bike is fast and comfortable to ride. I spent an hour sitting outside the Starbucks in my neighborhood, people watching and reading a book and then came home to whip up a pasta salad to take with me to the free concert in Grant Park for a picnic with friends. Continue reading

Green Garlic Pesto

Last summer when I was just reading blogs and hadn’t yet taken the plunge to writing my own, interesting produce (Ramps! Green Garlic! Fiddleheads!) was creeping into my favorites which of course inspired me to seek out the unusual at the market. I have definitely embraced that philosophy this season.

Take these radishes for example. Continue reading

7 Miles and the Market

This morning I got up and ran 7 miles along the lakefront ending at the last Green City up at the Nature Museum. I am really glad that they managed to have a market throughout the winter but I am VERY excited for it to come back down into the park right by my apartment. My legs are getting very tight/sore/tired from all my training but I feel pretty awesome that I was able to run for an hour and 20 mins today (I run slow and don’t hesitate to drink a few gulps at every water fountain I see). 2 years ago, I couldn’t even run a mile. Continue reading

Smoky Baked Mac and Cheese

Last weekend I had the craving for something warm and comforting but all of my normal, go-to recipes just seemed uninspiring.  I wanted to try something new.  Whenever I am on the search for a new recipe, I look at my starred posts in my reader and slowly make my way through a stack of magazines and recipe books.  However, it never fails that I end up finding the perfect thing to try over at the Kitchen Sink.   Continue reading

Homemade Pasta

Ever since I tried a bag of Pasta Puttana’s fresh pasta this summer, I have wanted to learn how to make it myself. However, I knew that it would take an investment in at least some sort of pasta roller, so it wasn’t until recently that I was able to finally give it a try myself. I treated myself to an attachment set for Ethel (my beautiful KitchenAid) for Christmas when the Amazon price went down to the lowest I had ever seen plus a 25% rebate. And I made a resolution of sorts to try it out in the near future.

Gourmet also has up a very helpful instructional video that takes you through the steps of making the dough, rolling it into sheets, and then cutting into noodles. I also decided to use this recipe with my “perfect pasta” flour blend that I ordered from the King Arthur website. The dough came together surprisingly easily.

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After letting the dough rest for an hour, I tested out the new attachments to create the noodles.

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After cutting the noodles, we hung them on this really cool pasta drying rack that I also bought with the attachments. In just over 2 hours, I had successfully turned eggs and flour into pasta. How sweet is that?

We cut half with the fettuccine cutters and the other half with the spaghetti sized cutters.

We decided to use the spaghetti for dinner (with mushrooms, garlic, parm, and red pepper flakes) and threw the fettuccine into a ziploc and stuck it in the freezer. I will let you know how it tastes after freezing. Let me just say, that the homemade pasta was FANTASTIC. It is not even comparable to store-bought dried. Not that I will stop eating dried pasta for a quick meal, but it really is worth taking the time to make some fresh pasta from scratch. I can’t wait to try this technique in ravioli or lasagna, especially this one.