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Homemade Pasta

  • Monday, February 28, 2011
  • A. Romano
  • Labels: , , ,

  • Ingredients:
    2 cups cake flower
    1 cup all-purpose flower
    4 egg yolks
    1/4 cup of olive oil
    good pinch of salt

    In a food processor combine the flower, egg yolks, olive oil and salt. Mix, breaking down the egg yolks. The reason I use cake flower instead of only using all-purpose flower is because it keeps the pasta lighter. Using only all-purpose flower is fine, but your pasta will be heavier and denser. The olive oil is going to keep the pasta moist and add depth to the flavor. Once combined you will begin to pour in the water while the processor mixes. Now, it's difficult to say how much water you will actually need because it depends on the consistency of the flower. You want enough water so that when you grab some dough out, if you press down on it you can form a ball that stays together, but you do not want it so wet that it gets goopy and sticky.

    Remove the dough from the processor. Lightly flower a work service and using the palm of your hand kneed the dough until the dough is relatively smooth, finish by rolling into one big ball. When finished, wrap the dough and place it in the fridge for at least a half hour to allow the dough to rest.

    After a half hour bring the dough out. I cut my dough into 4-6 parts so that it is easier to work with. Make sure to flower both your hands and the surface of your work space throughout. If you have a pasta machine you may go ahead and thin the pasta out and used the machine to form whatever type of pasta you wish. If you do not have a pasta machine you can also do it by hand.

    Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough. I roll it out to be thin enough that I can just barely see through the dough to my work surface below. Fettuccine is one of the easiest pasta to make when making pasta by hand. Once you've rolled out the dough, roll it up (long-ways, as you would a towel or blanket) and slice across the roll of dough. Once you finish cutting, unroll the pieces you've cut up and lay flat on a baking sheet or counter. You can allow the pasta to dry for later use or use after you finish cutting the fettuccine. If you want to make ravioli, roll out a much larger piece of dough and use a cup or cookie cutter to cut out circles or whatever shape you wish. Place filling in the center of the circle. Now you can either do half circles, wetting one edge of the ravioli with water and then folding the other side to meet it and finishing by scoring it with a fork or you can use your finger to wet the edge of the entire circle, place another circle of dough over it and score with a fork. If you do raviolis, make sure to allow the dough to rest after filling them and sealing them in order to allow the seams to really stiffen up so that they do not open during the boiling process. Finish with your favorite sauce. Hope you have fun with this recipe and the process!

    Cous Cous Creation No. 1

  • Monday, February 14, 2011
  • J-Mad
  • Labels: , , , ,
  • One of my favorite things to make is cous cous. For those who don’t know, cous cous is just a type of pasta from Morocco and northern Africa. It’s so incredibly simple to make and so versatile that you can put almost anything in it to make an amazing dish. Generally, a jar of cous cous is the first grocery item I buy. I tend to just throw together things that I have and this is what I came up with tonight.


    - Meat:

    o stew cuts of tender beef (aka beef tips; this is optional and I used pre-cut meat because I try to avoid touching raw meat)

    o Nature Seasoning

    - Cous Cous:

    o Equal parts (about one cup each) water and dry cous cous (do NOT mix together)

    o About a tablespoon of olive oil

    o Diced Roma tomato

    o Chopped Onion

    o Peas

    o Corn

    o Basil

    o Parsley

    o Nature Seasoning


    The meat is optional. So if you’re a vegetarian like 75% of the authors of this blog, skip right on past this part. Otherwise, I just put the beef in a pan, sprinkled some Nature Seasoning on top (although onion and/or garlic powder will also taste good), and cooked it on the stove until well done (personal preference, again).

    While the meat was cooking, I put all of the ingredients for the cous cous mix EXCEPT the actual dried cous cous. Bring this mix to a boil, then remove from heat. Now, add the dried cous cous. Cover immediately so that the steam stays inside the pot. Let sit covered off of heat for about 5 minutes, or until the cous cous has absorbed the water.

    I cut up the beef and then added into the cous cous dish, mixing everything as I went. I coupled this meal with a mixed greens salad topped with a sliced Clementine orange and a dressing (personal favorite: equal parts balsamic vinegar and olive oil). And cous cous creation #1 with side salad is now complete.

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